Obama enlists Kasich to sell TPP

Obama enlists Kasich to sell TPP
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President Obama has enlisted Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a prominent political rival, to help him make a final push for his stalled Pacific Rim trade agreement.
 
Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate, will attend a bipartisan meeting on Friday at the White House meant to tout the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-nation agreement that is one of Obama’s top remaining priorities. 
 
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The Ohio governor will also appear alongside White House press secretary Josh Earnest at his daily briefing. 
 
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and former NATO commander Adm. James Stavridis are among the officials attending, the White House said. 
 
The meeting is the latest effort by Obama to generate support for the pact, which would be the largest free trade deal in history and is a centerpiece of his administration’s so-called pivot to Asia. 
 
But the chances that Congress ratifies the agreement before Obama leaves office are slim. 
 
 
But the invite list is an effort by the White House to show that support for the agreement also crosses party lines. Kasich was a vocal opponent of Trump and backed TPP during his campaign. 
 
"Tomorrow's discussion is an opportunity for the president to hear directly from a diverse coalition of experts and leaders in their fields on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership can benefit American workers and businesses and further our national security," said White House spokesperson Brandi Hoffine.   
 
"I’m a free trader,” Kasich said during a January GOP primary debate. “It’s important those countries in Asia are interfacing against China.”
 
GOP leaders in Congress have resisted calls to hold a vote in the lame-duck session of Congress, arguing the deal has significant flaws and the support is not there to pass it. 
 
"As long as we don't have the votes, I see no point in bringing up an agreement only to defeat it," Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview last month.