12 Nations Formally Sign TPP; Questions Remain Over U.S. Ratification

Financial Times: As Pacific trade deal is signed pharma holds key to U.S. ratification
“U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to get a vast Pacific Rim trade deal through Congress this year is taking flak from the presidential campaign trail, where disdain for the pact appears to be one of the rare unifying themes for almost everyone from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. … [K]ey GOP leaders such as Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, do not like the intellectual property protections [the Obama] administration negotiated for biologics in the TPP. They have vowed to block ratification until something changes…” (Donnan, 2/4).

Washington Post: U.S., 11 nations formally sign largest regional trade deal in history
“Trade ministers from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations formally signed the largest regional trade deal in history on Thursday in New Zealand, but the fate of one of President Obama’s signature economic projects remained fraught on Capitol Hill. … ‘No one should be under any illusions that, because the TPP is being signed today, an up or down vote on the agreement is imminent,’ Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a floor speech…” (Nakamura, 2/3).