Obama to woo Dem lawmakers on trade

Obama to woo Dem lawmakers on trade
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President Obama will host congressional Democrats at a White House reception on Wednesday as he seeks to build support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. 

Obama will talk about “shared priorities in trade” during a “working reception” in the State Dining Room that will include House and Senate lawmakers, the White House said. 

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The White House is working to get lawmakers on board with the TPP agreement, one of the top remaining items left on Obama’s second-term agenda. 

The 12-nation trade agreement, which was finalized earlier this month, is not expected to go before Congress until next year. But Obama has become personally involved in selling the controversial pact to members of Congress and industry leaders, months ahead of what’s expected to be a tough vote.

The White House has touted how the deal would knock down tariffs and other barriers to trade with nations along the Pacific Rim. It’s a central element of Obama’s so-called pivot to Asia, a means to counter China's rising influence in the region and around the globe.

But opponents of the deal say it could lead to American jobs being shipped overseas and that the deal’s labor and environmental standards are not stringent enough. Republicans and Democrats are both divided over the deal.