Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Departing US ambassadors urge Congress to revive Trans-Pacific trade deal

Six departing U.S. ambassadors in Asia including Caroline Kennedy urged Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership “before the window for doing so closes,” saying that a failure to adopt the free-trade deal would cede leadership to China in the region and hurt American workers. “Walking away from TPP may be seen by future generations as the moment America chose to cede leadership to others in this part of the world and accept a diminished role,” the ambassadors wrote in the letter obtained by Bloomberg News. “Such an outcome would be cause for celebration among those who favor ‘Asia for the Asians’ and state capitalism.” The letter was a last-ditch and largely symbolic plea from the diplomats for lawmakers to buck sentiment aired during the presidential election that the 12-nation pact, which once had strong support and seemed destined for passage, was bad for the U.S. economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump called the deal bad for the U.S and vowed to walk away from it on his first day in office. His Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton abandoned it as well.



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