Furman says Pacific trade deal will pass this year

Furman says Pacific trade deal will pass this year
© Getty

A top Obama administration official said Thursday that Congress will pass an expansive Pacific Rim trade agreement before President Obama leaves office.

Jason FurmanJason FurmanIn surprise, unemployment rate falls, economy adds jobs Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims The Memo: Scale of economic crisis sends shudders through nation MORE, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said he expects lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the lame-duck session after the November election.


“I think the support is there,” Furman said during a discussion with Bloomberg Politics.

Furman said passing the TPP is “perfectly reasonable” — even with a new administration moving into the White House in January — because the agreement will have been available for public scrutiny for a year by that time, much longer than most legislation gets vetted.

White House officials have lately expressed more confidence that Congress will pass the 12-nation TPP even amid anti-trade rhetoric fueling the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, respectively, each oppose the sweeping Pacific Rim deal. 

Much of the White House's optimism stems from the headway made by the Obama administration and Congress on issues such as financial services. Lawmakers have said their concerns about the deal must be addressed and resolved before they will consider taking up the TPP.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE took a similar tack this week, saying he sees Congress passing the TPP because lawmakers understand the significant political, strategic and economic costs of the delaying the agreement. 

Despite opposition from a majority of congressional Democrats and most labor unions, Froman said he thinks the TPP can pass.

“I think at the end of the day there will be the necessary support to get it done," Froman said.

Froman has stressed that the White House would like "to get it done as quickly as possible."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms States begin removing Capitol's Confederate statues on their own Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Ky.) has said the Senate will wait until after the election in an effort to protect vulnerable Republican incumbents in their reelection bids.