An Asian post-election checklist for Obama
Just days after the Nov. 4 midterm election transformed the U.S. political landscape by handing control of Congress to Republicans, President Barack Obama will land in Asia for a series of summits with regional and world leaders. The timing is significant: Washington's new political constellation and the president's ability to move foreign friends and adversaries alike on key issues will define his last two years in office, after recent rough patches at home and abroad. Here are five things Obama can do to turn weakness into strength in the week he attends the Nov. 10 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing, the subsequent East Asia Summit in Naypyitaw and the G-20 leaders' meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 15-16.
(1) Leverage the new Republican majority in Congress to do a deal on trade.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, if implemented, would liberalize one-third of global trade and boost the world's big economies outside of Europe. But final negotiations between the U.S. and Japan have broken down -- in part because Tokyo does not want to make difficult concessions as long as Obama lacks Trade Promotion Authority from Congress to fast-track approval of any international agreement. For his part, the president has not sent a trade promotion authority bill to Congress because most Democrats would vote against it.
This article was first published on Nikkei Asian Review.com. Click here to read the full article.
Daniel Twining is a senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund.
Photo credit: East Asia and Pacific Media Hub U.S. Department of State.