Obama to speak at Nike on Friday


The president’s visit highlights internal divisions over fast-track trade.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The president’s visit highlights internal divisions over fast-track trade.

From OregonLive.com:

For Obama, Oregon is unusually friendly ground in the trade debate. Oregon – seventh in the nation in per capita exports in 2012 – is also one of the few states where it’s relatively easy for Obama to find members of Congress from his own party who support him on trade. The president has praised Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, for reaching agreement with key Republican leaders on a “fast-track” trade bill that will help guide the final negotiations and congressional consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Wyden won’t be able to attend Friday’s event, according to an aide, but  Democratic Oregon Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer plan to attend and have endorsed the fast-track bill. But opposition won’t be far away. Union and social-justice activists, who often support Obama, plan to demonstrate outside both the Nike World Headquarters campus near Beaverton and the fundraiser at Portland’s Sentinel hotel.

“There’s a real discussion in the Democratic Party about what these trade pacts actually accomplish,” said Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University. “This split in a national context makes sense. (But) Oregon’s economy is pretty heavily subscribed into international trade.”

A recent poll conducted by Oregon Jobs Through Trade shows Democratic support for the fast-track trade proposal.

From the Portland Business Journal:

The group polled 600 likely Democratic and non-affiliated voters. Ninety-one percent of Democrats polled said it is “important” to sell Oregon goods abroad. A majority said it was “very important.”

“Trade in the Asia-Pacific region is critical to Oregon’s economic future,” said ECONorthwest President John Tapogna, in a news release announcing the poll’s results. “The region is home to a rapidly expanding middle class and a key driver of global growth. The trade plan in Congress opens new markets and opportunities.”

Oregon Jobs Through Trade is a coalition of companies including Greenbrier, Nike and Columbia Sportswear.

Needless to say, traffic will be a nightmare while the president is in town. 

OregonLive.com published a “10 things you should know” about commuting during the presidential visit.

Stay off Interstate 84 and I-205 late Thursday afternoon and early evening if you can. In the past, the Secret Service has moved the president “the wrong way” on freeways, closing eastbound I-84, for example, to allow the 20-vehicle presidential motorcade to go west in the empty lanes.  

So, if you’re headed to the airport on Thursday, give yourself an extra hour.

The No. 1 piece of advice from transportation reporter Joseph Rose? “Work from home if you can.”