[To promote the accord, Mr. Obama in the last few days has published two op-ed articles and a letter to online business owners who use eBay. He has also invited national security figures from both parties, led by two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and Madeleine K. Albright, to join him at the White House on Friday to talk up the merits of expanding trade with
Pacific Rim nations.]
as a way to build middle-class jobs.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — As he prepares for a long trip to Asia, President Obamahas opened an intense campaign to promote his new trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations as a way to lower tariffs, open world markets and build middle-class jobs.
The agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is the economic cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s drive to refocus American foreign policy on
Asia. The president has made it the focus of attention this week in
advance of his departure on Saturday for the Group of
20 summit meeting inTurkey, followed
by stops in the Philippines and Malaysia.
To promote the accord, Mr. Obama in the last few days has published two op-ed articles and a letter to online business owners who use eBay. He has also invited national security figures from both parties, led by two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and Madeleine K. Albright, to join him at the White House on Friday to talk up the merits of expanding trade with
Pacific Rim nations.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership will help generate higher wages, safer workplaces, fairer competition, and a cleaner environment — standards I will highlight as I travel from the G-20 to the
and Philippines ,” Mr. Obama said in an article published in The Financial Times. Malaysia
is going to continue to lead,”
he wrote in his letter
to eBay business owners, “we have to make it easier for
entrepreneurs like you to sell what you proudly make here in some of the
fastest-growing markets around the world.” America
The trade pact would set rules of the road for trade and investment between the United States and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, countries that together represent about 40 percent of the world economy. The government of the
has indicated that it wants to
join as well. China is
not part of the pact. Philippines
The agreement has come under fire especially from liberal activists, labor unions and congressional Democrats who complain that it would not do enough to enforce high environmental and workplace standards overseas and would result in more manufacturing jobs’ being exported to low-wage countries. Among those opposing it are the leading Democratic presidential candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of
Republican congressional leaders have been more supportive, pushing through fast-track authority last summer so that Mr. Obama can submit the final pact for an up-or-down vote rather than subject it to possible amendments.
Still, since the text of the trade agreement was released last week, congressional Republican leaders like the new House speaker, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, have withheld judgment, and some Republican presidential candidates, led by Donald J. Trump, have denounced it.
“The T.P.P. is a horrible deal,” Mr. Trump said at this week’s Republican debate. “It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”
He added that he was “a free trader, 100 percent,” but that “we don’t have smart people making the deals.”
Senator Rand Paul of
, one of his opponents on the
debate stage, suggested that Mr. Trump did not fully understand the agreement,
noting that Kentucky was not part of it. “There is
an argument that China doesn’t like the deal because
in us doing the deal, we’ll be trading with their competitors,” he said. China
Mr. Obama hopes to show bipartisan support for the trade deal with an event at the White House on Friday. In addition to Mr. Baker, who was the top diplomat for the first President George Bush, and Ms. Albright, who had the same role for President Bill Clinton, Mr. Obama will host Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser to Mr. Bush and President Gerald R. Ford, and Adm. Mike Mullen, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George W. Bush and Mr. Obama.
The gathering is reminiscent of Mr. Clinton’s campaign to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement, when he recruited presidents of both parties, including Mr. Ford, the first President Bush and Jimmy Carter, to lobby on its behalf.
“T.P.P. is central to our vision of the region’s future and our place in it, ”Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, told reporters on Thursday. “And one of the president’s top priorities is to secure passage of T.P.P. through Congress and to implement the agreement.”
It is rare for the president to write, or sign, so many columns in his own name on the same topic in just a matter of days. But in choosing The Financial Times, Bloomberg View and eBay, the White House was targeting business audiences in hopes of bolstering support for the pact to counter the muscle of organized labor.
“Not every American will support this deal, and neither will every member of Congress,” Mr. Obama said in his column for Bloomberg View. “But I believe that in the end, the American people will see that it is a win for our workers, our businesses and our middle class.
“And I expect,” he added, “that after the American people and Congress have an opportunity for months of careful review and consultation, Congress will approve it and I’ll have the chance to sign it into law.”