The Corner

Trade, Text, and Timing

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.) and other anti-trade Democrats are criticizing the Obama administration for talking up the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the final text has been released.

Michael Froman, the U.S. trade ambassador, touted the deal during an appearance this week at the Atlantic Council, and Obama highlighted the deal during recent Oval Office meetings with the leaders of South Korea and Indonesia, both of whom expressed interest in their nations joining the TPP accord in the future.

That kind of public lobbying has put skeptics of the deal at a disadvantage, the Democratic lawmakers said.

“Stop with the parade all over the country with the glittering generalities,” said Rep. David Cicilline (R.I.).

DeLauro has said supporters of the agreement should stop selling it until the text has been finalized and made available.

Process arguments are usually made in bad faith, and this one certainly is. Are DeLauro and Cicilline waiting to read the agreement before they trash it? Of course not. I like a good bashing of the Obama administration as much as the next conservative, but these folks aren’t any good at it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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