Obama abandons efforts to pass signature Pacific trade deal

The Obama administration is largely suspending efforts to pass a sweeping Pacific trade deal meant to bind the US and Asia after congressional Republicans said they would not advance it in the election’s aftermath.

The US Trade Representative’s office had been lobbying lawmakers for months to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in the lame-duck session of Congress after the November 8 presidential election.

However, the plans have been stymied following the surprise victory of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a vote that also retained Republican majorities in Congress.

The collapse of the 12-country trade pact is a bitter defeat for President Obama, whose support for the controversial deal divided the Democratic Party and complicated the campaign of its nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Obama’s team reached the historic accord with Japan and 10 other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean over a year ago to lower trade barriers…

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