Obama cannot lead from behind on trade

Barack Obama's ambitions for the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks are unlikely to be fulfilled unless he takes a firmer stance both at home and abroad.

FT.com

By a quirk of history, the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement coincides with a crisis over US healthcare. This time it is about Obamacare’s rocky debut. In 1993, the crisis was over Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan. When push came to shove, Bill Clinton chose Nafta – it squeaked through Congress while Hillarycare fell apart. President Barack Obama also wants to push through a big trade agenda. Yet it is by no means clear he has Clinton’s appetite for taking the risks necessary to pull off serious deals. Continuing to tiptoe around the issue is unlikely to serve him for much longer.

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