The ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee is ‘the most important person in the caucus on this issue.’
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
President Barack Obama’s trade agenda hinges on the will of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden.
The New York Times reports Wyden is “the most important person in the caucus on this issue” as he is the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.
“I’m not going to offer some self-promotional comment,” Mr. Wyden said, happy to be in the spotlight but shuffling nervously in the glare on his tall, thin frame. “But as the ranking Democrat, what I’ve tried to do is work closely with all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put in place what I call ‘trade done right.’”
The trade deal sought by the Obama administration, the Trans Pacific Partnership, would be the largest accord since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into force in 1994. It would bind 12 nations along the Pacific Rim to a new economic regime with lower trade barriers; fortified protections for workers, the environment and corporate secrets; and new rules to govern the integration of state-owned companies into the global economy. But even before it is completed, the deal is being challenged, largely by the president’s own party.
The NYT posits that Wyden is trying to balance preservation of manufacturing jobs (to placate Democrats) with free markets in the trade deal sought by Obama.