President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to upend U.S. trade policy is claiming its first casualty, as Republican leaders in Congress have closed the door on the Obama administration’s hopes for last-minute ratification of an expansive Pacific Rim trade accord before the president leaves office.
GOP lawmakers had publicly expressed skepticism about the future of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ahead of a presidential election in which both major candidates opposed the deal. But staff-level conversations between the White House and Congress had continued behind the scenes to prepare for a potential vote during the lame duck congressional session that could begin next week. Those conversations have halted since Trump’s upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to officials involved in the process. The prospect of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moving forward over Trump’s objections to the largest regional trade and regulatory deal in history is viewed as a non-starter among free-trade proponents.
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