Washington Post The failure of a package of trade-related measures Friday in the House was a blow to President Obama, but it was also a blow to his ally, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, half a world away. By Anna Fifield and Simon Denyer
'Abe has made reviving Japan’s stubbornly anemic economy one of his top priorities, and forging a wide-ranging trade pact with the United States, through the Trans Pacific Partnership, was a key part of that goal.
both countries, TPP has been viewed as a way to counter a rising China.
For the United States, it was a way to project influence in Asia;
whereas, for Japan, it was a way to regain some of the economic might it
has lost as China has gained.
'For China, that means Friday’s actions in the House counted
as something of a victory. “The outcome won’t affect China that much,
but China would be happy to see it and chuckle underneath,” said Shi
Yinhong, director of U.S. Study Center at Renmin University.
House voted down a package of trade-related bills as Democrats rebuffed
Obama’s personal pleas for their support for his free-trade initiative.
'The package included a measure to give the administration
“fast-track” negotiating authority considered crucial for conclude the
Pacific Rim trade deal. This would allow the administration to agree to a
deal that Congress would approve or reject, without the ability to make
'Japan, the second biggest party to the deal
after the United States, has been counting on the deal to boost trade
and to help the government usher in much-needed reforms — particularly
in agriculture and automobiles — that would be difficult to institute
without the excuse of outside impetus.'