The Washington Post: Independent agency holds big sway over TPP trade deal

01/21/2016

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Jan. 21, 2016 | Source: The Washington Post

The proceedings began with little fanfare last week, on the first floor of a nondescript government building in Southwest Washington.

Inside the International Trade Commission headquarters, there was no shouting, interrupting or grandstanding, only a civil — if a bit wonky — back-and-forth on non-tariff trade barriers, economic models and trade deficits.

In short, the hearings were a far cry from the normal legislative wrangling carried out on C-Span or by lobbyists in the inner sanctums of lawmakers’ Capitol Hill offices.

Yet the obscure commission holds sway over one of the most contentious political issues of 2016: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, struck between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations.

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