politics

Aso says Obama powerless to get U.S. Congress behind TPP

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Dragging out negotiations until next year will be necessary. Both the US House and Senate will likely be in Republican hands, and politics making strange bedfellows, they will actually work with President Obama on ratifying the TPP.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"and politics making strange bedfellows, they will actually work with President Obama on ratifying the TPP."

So you mean to state that Republicans are hypocritical, double-dealing, backhanded and sleazy liars? Yeah, I would concur.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Taro Aso is such a piece of work. Sitting in his yakuza styled office, pontificating about "Obama", he didn't even use the term president, What does this old loser know anything about US congressional politics. Just shut up and go back to reading manga, as that is all you are really good for!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So you mean to state that Republicans are hypocritical, double-dealing, backhanded and sleazy liars? Yeah, I would concur.

I would think that's all politicians.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So you mean to state that Republicans are hypocritical, double-dealing, backhanded and sleazy liars? Yeah, I would concur.

You meant, the Democrats, there, I fixed it for you. But for the record as Steven pointed out, they all do the same. My beef is, that Democrats walk with a halo all day trying to convince the country that they are incapable of doing anything incomprehensible or even dirty. So how would you quantify the last 5 years of this admin.? The best ever?? Not even close, disastrous more like it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Obama is one of the most ineffective Presidents.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I'm wondering about this, too.

If and when the TPP agreement is announced, what will happen in Congress? The next hurdle after the Japan-US agreement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The failure to reach an agreement over the TPP is partly attributable to Obama’s inability to “persuade U.S. legislators to see a broader strategic meaning to the TPP than the interests of the agricultural sector”.

Huh? Ok, let's look at this "broader strategic meaning". Japan wants the U.S. to say it will back it in any military conflict with China over the Sengakus's, while also telling the U.S. to get the heck out of Okinawa. While at the same time Japan wants to take agriculture off the table with regards the TPP, but is offering nothing in return. Tell me exactly how Obama, or anyone else, is supposed to sell this in the U.S.? Especially since "the interests of the agricultral sector" are generally red states -- Republican -- which Obama will need more than his own party to get it through Congress. Wake up Japan, semantics and obfuscating is not going to work this time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Aso could go and bite his tongue off for blabbering nonsense when ABE refused to cooperate with Obama.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Huh? Ok, let's look at this "broader strategic meaning

Why? It's your dumb president who went on the limb with this "double the export" promise and it's not Japan's job to aid his aim to build his "legacy". Abe standed with Obama on Crimea so his latest "Senkaku" statement was his return favor. As far as TPP goes, Japan doesn't care about what Red states think just as much as U.S. Don't give a hoot about rural voting block in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe standed with Obama on Crimea so his latest "Senkaku" statement was his return favor. As far as TPP goes, Japan doesn't care about what Red states think

nigelboy -- thanks, you proved the lunacy of the Japanese position better than I could myself. All Abe did was make a statement saying they opposed the Russian take-over in Crimea, which they had to do, since they are in a territorial fight with Russia themselves. But in no case was it even in the same league as the U.S. pledging military support -- potentially putting U.S. military in harm's way" -- for the benefit of Japan. Second, Japan needs to care about what the Red states think, because that is reality. Japan has been terrible at diplomacy because they refuse to try to understand any other country's perspective. They simply want everyone to understand, and yield to theirs. Good luck with that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nigelboy -- thanks, you proved the lunacy of the Japanese position better than I could myself. All Abe did was make a statement saying they opposed the Russian take-over in Crimea, which they had to do, since they are in a territorial fight with Russia themselves. But in no case was it even in the same league as the U.S. pledging military support -- potentially putting U.S. military in harm's way" -- for the benefit of Japan. Second, Japan needs to care about what the Red states think, because that is reality. Japan has been terrible at diplomacy because they refuse to try to understand any other country's perspective. They simply want everyone to understand, and yield to theirs. Good luck with that.

??? You seem to conveniently forget that Putin was going to visit Japan this fall and because of Abe's support to U.S., the solving of the territorial dispute took a few steps back. Get it through your head. SOFA and the payments received are for protection of Japan. It's an agreement so get off your high horse. As to not understanding any other country's perspective, that's your country. Stop acting like Japan's not making concessions when U.S. are doing the same with auto and sugar industry.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"U.S. President Barack Obama said winning final approval for the trade agreement would mean “that we have to sometimes push our constituencies beyond their current comfort levels because ultimately it’s going to deliver a greater good for all people.”

While I agree I think Abe has the more difficult time convincing his constituency to compromise. US lawmakers will accept a limited agreement that makes inroads into the Japanese car industry while Japanese lawmakers will balk anything that could potentially harm domestic farm interests.

"Labor groups and lawmakers in Obama’s own Democratic Party oppose the pact, arguing it could leave U.S. workers vulnerable to competition from countries with lower labor costs."

But lower labor costs aren't a major concern regarding Japan.

This really boils down to the US wanting access to the Japanese market and US agricultural exports to Japan. Which of these two is more likely to happen?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“President Obama doesn’t have the political power to do much before the midterm elections in November,” Aso told reporters.

No wonder TPP talks failed, given Aso’s logic and mindset, the whole TPP negotiations with the US were purely a set-up to allure Obama (using him as a tool) for something that was not real in the first place.

If TPP talks between the US and Japan prolongs without any real breakthrough for another 6 months, the failure will become Achilles heel for Japan (it does not matter how Abe and Aso would spin.) considering relationship between the US and Japan.

If one paid attention to how Abe &co. arranged the itinerary of Obama’s trip, one would be able to notice: these Japanese politicians are master of deceivers, starting from the sushi joint (BTW, at which Obama even could not finish the course) to the banquet given by the emperor. The whole sequences were just premeditated as smoke and mirror to create an allusion of close friendship. Yet, when the party ended, first name calling become fading echo, Obama ‘s high hope to seal a TPP deal at his state visit to Japan tuned into another disappoint with Japan.

Japan’s questionable tactics have already drawn scrutiny from American medias. Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LA times, Post and NYT all put headlines to describe Obama’s TPP failure in Japan.

Abe and Aso , what a pair!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Saying something like that means that Abe obviously does not understand the notion "I've got your back, Barak!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TPP between Japan and the U.S. will not happen.. Japan will not budge an inch... and guess what... the USA also is standing its ground. The U.S. has little to lose if things stay the same and so does Japan. Stalemate.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Stop acting like Japan's not making concessions when U.S. are doing the same with auto and sugar industry.

nigelboy -- you really don't get it, do you? The amount of rice, beef, sugar, wheat, etc. that the U.S. would potentially sell to Japan under TPP is a TINY FRACTION of the value of the autos, electronics, etc. that Japan will continue to export to the U.S. The U.S. is playing hard-ball with Japan because if they don't get Japan to live up to the spirit of the TPP, the other countries involved will never agree to the overall deal. Japan is only at the table because of the U.S. pushing for them. Do you think for one second the other TPP countries would allow Japan to get away with the sham of a "free trade" deal Austalia signed? So a little "tough love" is called for. Japan is literally, and figuratively, biting the hand that feeds them. And their is nothing "high horse" about that. It is reality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Slowing down passage of TPP in the US is actually a good thing, in my opinion, especially if it means Congress can review the details of the agreement. Just asserting that TPP is in the US national interest does not make it so. Japan may actually be doing the US a favor here.

Also, as one of my students pointed out to me, the national government of Japan is not in a position to dictate policy to each ministry, but must go through a tedious consensus-building process -- the Japanese form of democracy is actually more "bottom-up" than "top-down", and the massive bureaucracy cannot be conveniently disregarded in favor of a quick "Fast-track" agreement.

As I am not at all convinced that TPP is wholly in the interest of US voters, especially since the public lacks access to the details, I think Japan is doing the US a favor, in this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aso is probably too busy navel gazing to understand how bad TPP actually is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" Obama is one if most ineffective presidents"

He still stands head and shoulders above any current Japanese politician.(especially that arrogant blue blood muppet Aso)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"So how would you quantify the last 5 years of this admin.? The best ever?? Not even close, disastrous more like it."

Let's see: economic recovery, shrinking deficits, a booming stock market and a growing number of young Americans signing up for healthcare. Yep, pretty good, if you ask me.

It sure beats 9/11, failed wars, growing deficits and depression, which his conservative Republican predecessor delivered.. Oh, and Katrina.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Let's see: economic recovery, shrinking deficits, a booming stock market and a growing number of young Americans signing up for healthcare. Yep, pretty good, if you ask me.

Economic recovery? Last I checked, 110,000,000 Americans are on food stamps, and only 87,000,000 are working full time. Yet unemplyment is supposed to be only 7%? I suppose HHS workers are seeing a lot of recovery, they are probably working overtime processing welfare applications.

The "booming" stock market is the result of monetary easing, and "adding liquidity" to the markets. The word "asset bubble" is circulating around Wall Street just like the words "housing bubble" were circulating in 2006. No doubt the next president will inherit yet another financial crisis.

"Shrinking deficit?" Deficit is a term to describe the amount of spending which exceeds revenue. The government projects future spending, all of of which is of course deficit spending, as the government has already spent-in-advance the tax revenue of the next three or four generations. Reductions in the deficiit don't mean reductions in debt. Any time the governmemt changes it's spending projections to be short of what they previously thought they would spend, they say they are "reducing the deficit". But the national debt is not, has not, and will not be reduced. And the deficits are being reduced from "astronomical" to "huge."

Growing numbers of young people signing up for healthcare? Seven-odd million people have "enrolled", but far fewer young people have signed up than expected. And of these seven million enrollees, we are not being told how many have actually bought plans, and made payments, Obama still refuses to share this nit of info from us.

The only thing worse than being lied to is to lie to yourself.

Aso is right, Obama is powerless. That it is widely accepted that the democrat party will lose seats in both houses of congress means that most people don't believe that Obama has done a hood job, right? They obviously don't see any economic recovery, they have seen no personal benefit from the stock boom, and many are seeing their insurance costing far more than it did a year ago. Were this not the case, shouldn't Obama's party be gaining seats in the congress and senate?

That Obama has signed hos name to TPP is not going to help it get approved, more likely than not, his support will be one of the major obstacles in the way of getting it passed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"The "booming" stock market is the result of monetary easing, "

Then why has it continued to grow to record highs AFTER the tapering was announced? And you don't think that today's record-high corporate profits and growth in the economy just might have had something to do with it? LOL.

"No doubt the next president will inherit yet another financial crisis."

So your harshest condemnation of Obama is that he could leave a legacy as bad as his predecessor's? Now that WOULD be a disaster. Because the Bush years truly were a disaster (depression and war). And hence, your concluding argument is based on something THAT HASN'T HAPPENED. Yeah, that's really convincing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmm...agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the TPP promotes is globalization of the market, that is, to standardize the rules of the market in the interest of multinational corporations. Foreign investors may demand of your government that the purification level of atmosphere go backward before early 1970s so as to sell cars with polluted exhaust or that financial rules be changed so that they can sell derivatives all over the world. Get the handful of people richer while neglecting the other 99% with an empty promise of trickle-down effect coming on us some day. As Japan depends on the US for security, Abe has no choice but to sit and join the talks on the TPP. He cannot say to Obama san that it is not TPP but high-performance and usability of a product that make it accepted by the market. (TPP will not make Japanese cars sell still more in the US or its smartphones count for much in the world market.) So as it stands, he can only wait for the TPP to abort of its own accord instead of Japan's. Aso said what Abe cannot say by courtesy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the American congress sees no need for TPP so they are not in any way giving in to any concessions. Is that too difficult to understand?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And it just gets better and better

The Democratic Party has responded to the resistance against ramming through new trade agreements by giving the process a new name. "Fast-track" has been rebranded as "smart-track" and, voila new packaging is supposed to make us forget the rotten hulk underneath the thin veneer.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/25/how-the-democrats-re-branded-fast-track/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nigelboy -- you really don't get it, do you? The amount of rice, beef, sugar, wheat, etc. that the U.S. would potentially sell to Japan under TPP is a TINY FRACTION of the value of the autos, electronics, etc. that Japan will continue to export to the U.S. The U.S. is playing hard-ball with Japan because if they don't get Japan to live up to the spirit of the TPP, the other countries involved will never agree to the overall deal. Japan is only at the table because of the U.S. pushing for them. Do you think for one second the other TPP countries would allow Japan to get away with the sham of a "free trade" deal Austalia signed? So a little "tough love" is called for. Japan is literally, and figuratively, biting the hand that feeds them. And their is nothing "high horse" about that. It is reality.

The only person that doesn't get it is you. You mention other countries of TPP when it's clearly apparent that you did not know that Japan already had executed EPA or FTA with 8 of the TPP participants. Hence, this essentially a negotiation between the two largest members and nothing else. So don't think for a second that the 'other' is behind U.S. when another large agricultural exporter nation in Australia set a precedent which U.S. is too stubborn to follow.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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