(LATIMES) President Obama is racing against the clock to cement a massive Pacific Rim trade deal that all of his potential successors oppose, with his administration eyeing a looming fight on Capitol Hill while starting to implement as much of the complicated pact as it can.
The effort begins in Vietnam, where Obama spent the last three days touting the merits of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership, which would link 40% of the global economy, and reassuring Vietnamese leaders key to the deal that Congress will ultimately overcome the thorny politics of trade and ratify the agreement.
“Nothing is easy in Washington these days,” Obama assured participants at a round table discussion with business leaders Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City, the heart of what is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. “But despite sometimes the lack of cooperation with Congress, I seem to be able to get a lot of things done anyway.”
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