President Obama won new powers from Congress on Wednesday to bring home an expansive Pacific Rim free-trade deal that analysts said could boost U.S. economic standing in Asia and ultimately burnish his foreign policy legacy.
Obama’s victory on Capitol Hill, coming 12 days after House Democrats nearly scuttled his bid for “fast-track” trade authority, sets the stage for his administration to complete the multi-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, by year’s end.
It represents a hard-won payoff for a president who was willing to partner with his Republican rivals and defy a majority of his party in pursuit of an accord that aides have said will ensure that the United States maintains an economic edge over a rising China.
“This looks like a big, strategic piece,” said Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a global risk analysis firm. “It’s a global strategy doctrine that will move the world in a direction that, in the long term, is useful for the investments of America.”
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