I don't understand why Republican moderates like Boehner and Paul Ryan are pushing so hard for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. What is it they are trying to achieve? I have looked for statements by Ryan on the TPP and have not found any. Why are they supporting it?

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    "Obamatrade"? I haven't even heard Fox News use that term yet.
    – user1530
    Jun 23, 2015 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed (free?) trade agreement heralded by big business.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties and most of their candidates are heavily funded by big business. Arguably the Republican party in particular, but that could be just my impression, I don't have evidence to back it up.

Therefore, Most of them support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Perhaps quietly so.

If anything, opposition comes from the left. For example, senator Bernie Sanders:

It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it

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    My understanding of this agreement is free trade is a pretty far stretch, its mostly crony capitalism granting multinational companies the ability to not follow laws of countries they operate in.
    – Ryathal
    Jun 23, 2015 at 13:20
  • @Ryathal Good point. I have changed free to (free?) as it does depend on who one asks and interpretation.
    – gerrit
    Jun 23, 2015 at 13:21
  • Ok, that makes sense. Do you agree with Ryathal that it is basically crony capitalism? That would explain why Ryan isn't talking about the benefits of the agreement. Jun 23, 2015 at 19:23
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    @TylerDurden I have not studied TPP in sufficient detail to comment on that. As a European I'm more familiar with TTIP and that one is pure crookery.
    – gerrit
    Jun 23, 2015 at 19:28
  • " The Republican party in particular." I'd appreciate a citation on that (I can ask a separate Q). An honest one, which - in Big Business - includes Big Law and Big Labour.
    – user4012
    Jun 29, 2015 at 22:57

Just to be clear, Republicans are not pushing for the TPP yet. The only bill that has gone through congress was one to grant authority to the president to negotiate an agreement and then send it to congress for a simple up/down vote as has been done for many previous trade deals. Allowing congress to amend of filibusterer the agreement could potentially destroy the delicately negotiated agreement between the large number of parties.

Once the final agreement has been negotiated Republicans will have to decide whether or not to support it. At that point we will hear the arguments for and against the specific measures in the TPP

That being said, one of the stated goals of the agreement is to lower tariffs between a large number of nations. Free trade is a core value for many economics minded Republicans. To quote Paul Ryan "We believe in free trade. That is one of our party's primary principles." It's generally seen as enriching American consumers and creating jobs even if there are some losses where America doesn't have comparative advantage. It's at least conceivable that the TPP will lead to freer trade. That being said, if the president does (again) bow to special interests over the interest of consumers, then the house can always vote down the measure.

Since there is plenty of bipartisan cronyism in congress the final TPP will probably have to have some corrupt clauses, but there might be enough legitimate tariff reduction to make it a net good in the eyes of a genuinely free trade Republican like Paul Ryan.

  • Ok, so you are saying he is supporting it because it will potentially lower foreign tariffs and that is the only reason? Jun 23, 2015 at 18:40
  • @TylerDurden not just foreign tariffs; reducing domestic tariffs, quotas, or excessive trade regulations would be just as big a victory for a free trade Republican. We won't know what comes out of the negotiations for a while though.
    – lazarusL
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:49
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    @TylerDurden - not just "because of specific tariff" - they support free trade ON PRINCIPLE, as a Good Thing for all involved long term.
    – user4012
    Jun 29, 2015 at 22:57

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