Bipartisan trade bill is no sure victory for President Obama – CNN

Washington (CNN)It was a huge win for President Barack Obama but, as is so often the case in polarized Washington, it may just be a prelude to a bigger battle ahead.

Congress finally granted the president fast-track trade authority on Wednesday, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican who once plotted to deny him reelection, saved a centerpiece of the president’s second term by forcing a bill opposed by most Democrats through the Senate.

The vote revived Obama’s trade agenda, was a lifeline for his signature Asia “pivot” policy — for which the vast trade pact in the works is crucial — and was a rare instance of leaders working across the aisle.

READ: Senate sends key trade bill to Obama

But opponents of the Pacific Rim trade pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, are promising to muster a growing coalition of union, environmental and community groups to heap pressure on lawmakers who will now face a vote on ratifying it in the volatile political atmosphere of the 2016 election campaign.

That’s also bad news for Hillary Clinton.

The front-running Democrat was an architect of the TPP as secretary of state but has taken on the skepticism of many liberals towards big trade deals since she started running for president amid a populist economic storm.


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