Obama Signs Fast-Track Trade Bill

After much arm-twisting and cajoling of his own party, President Obama signed legislation giving him sweeping authority to negotiate trade terms with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
15:24 | 06/29/15

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Transcript for Obama Signs Fast-Track Trade Bill
It's a big win for the president but not without a prying after much arm twisting and cajoling of his own party. President Obama will sign legislation giving him sweeping authority to negotiate trade time with the twelve nation. Trans Pacific partnership a key piece of his economic agenda but had to the White House now with the signing. Is taking place. Thank you'll welcome to the White House. We'd start off the week with something we should do more often. A truly bipartisan. Bill Simon. There for six and a half years we've worked to rescue the economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To get growing again and to rebuild it on new foundation for prosperity. Today our businesses have created more than twelve million new jobs in the past five years that through August. Streak of job growth on record. 401K is of these men replenish. Housing market is stronger. And more than sixty million Americans have game a financial security of health insurance. But. A constantly changing economy demands our constant effort to protect hard working Americans and protect their success one of things we ought to be doing its. Rewriting the rules of global freight make sure that they benefit American workers and American businesses. And that they reflect American values. Specially now while our economy is the position of global strike. The two bill wells that I'll sign today will help America do just that. First. Will help us pass new 40% free trade agreements with higher standards and for protections. Than those that we've signed before. The trans Pacific partnership for example include strong protections for workers and the environment. Unlike previous agreements those provisions wipes would be enforceable. And that's it for American businesses and their workers because we are to meet. High standards and higher standards than most of the rest of the world so we want to make sure there burials catches up. This agreement will help us level playing field. The second bill offers even more support for American workers. It renews and expands the trade adjustment assistance program which provides. Job training and other assistance to tens of thousands of American workers every year. It gives us new tools to help them steel workers and folks and other critical industries fight against unfair practices. By other countries. It also reauthorize. Authorizes a goal the African growth and opportunity act which. Has had. Strong bipartisan support for many years Maryland which helps open up markets in African American businesses while making it easier African businesses. To sell their products in America and were extending a similar program to Haiti. And renew its support for other developments. Developing economies are what's known as the generalized system upfront costs. Now. I think it's fair to say the getting these bills through congress has not been easy. They've been declared dead more than once. They have inspired. Long and passionate debates and that's entirely appropriate for democracy. That's how. This country's post war. Response to make sure that we. Error our differences. And then ultimately. Congress works its well especially on issues that inspires strongly held feelings on all sides. But I it would not be ordinance I would not be signing these bills if I was not absolutely commence. That these. Pieces of legislation are ultimately good for American workers. We're no obvious signs of fire wasn't convinced they'd be good for American businesses. I would not be signing them if I did not know that they will give us a competitive edge in this new economy. And that that new economy cannot be reversed. We have to embrace. This legislation will help turn global trade which can often be a race to the bottom into a race to the top. It'll reinforce America's leadership role in the world in Asia and in Europe and beyond. Let him believe it would've fought so hard to get these things not so this is a good bit. I want to thank everybody whose helped us get it get to this day. We've got small business owners here environmental and global development group's other advocates who were picked part of this campaign. We've got some outstanding members a congress both Republican and Democrat who came together to make this happen. I wanna name just a few although congress on recess. And it's importing knowledge speaker John Boehner and leader Mitch McConnell. Senators Orrin hatch Ron Wyden and Patty Murray. Congressman Paul Ryan Ron kind and pet T Baird. And thanks to all the senators and representatives who took tough votes and encourage their colleagues to do the same. This is a bipartisan effort and it's a reminder of what we can get done even on the toughest issues where we work together in the spirit of compliments. I know we're gonna be it was something that same spirit. On future challenges. Like stern rebuilds roads bridges. Infrastructure rugged country because. The American people deserve nothing less from us. Let me just make one comment. The trade authorization is provided here it's not the actual trade agreements so we still have some tough negotiations that are going to be taking place. There's always been served that. People want transparency in those agreements. Under this authorization. These agreements will be posted. On web site for a long period of time for people to scrutinize and take a look pick apart. And so the debate on the particular provisions of trade will not end would this bill signing. But I'm very confident that. We're going to be able to say at the end of the day that the trade agreements or come under this authorization. Are gonna improve the system tray that we have right now and and that's a good thing and it's also important to note that. Trade is just one part. Of a broader agenda. Middle class economics and so we've still got more work to do on infrastructure we've still got more work to do one job training we still got more work to do on. Research and development we've still got more work to do to make sure that folks are getting good wages for hard work. We've still got too many communities that are left behind around the country. We've still got more to do to help support our small businesses. War extraordinary job creators. So this is not. The end of the road this is just one step in a long path to making sure the next generation enjoys extraordinary prosperity that are. Parents or grandparents passed down us and although they're going to be disagreements between the parties on. Particular elements. I think what we can agree on is meant in this country if you work hard. The HBO get ahead no matter where you come from what you look like. Or wiwa. When that. For example. And you're up. Those warm. This'll work both lucrative. What made it look good for third will be okay. Through it bill would. It's another good reason for her. Administration signing into along the trans Pacific partnership and or eight. Want to bring in now IBC's political director Klein. Those who were ripped the president's speaking once again. If you're there that's Rick how big is getting this bill passed for the president economic agenda. Friend's legacy. This is the single biggest legislative victory the president's likely to have for the rest of his presidency the reason is yes the work with Republicans so many times so it was critical for his legacy to have at least some accomplishment happening. During the second term with Republicans in control of congress and he put everything on the line on this he put himself out there was campaigning personally for this. And I think he did for the last eighteen months to show that he still has relevance on Capitol Hill that he can still. Put his mind it is muscle behind something. It was a strange set of bedfellows that made it happen in the end and he had to rely on those Republicans but he does get accomplishments on the every president always wants to have this. Extra negotiating authority on trade and aid in his in his vision it is something that is good for the economy but for economic growth and American jobs and business. It little bit more about that strange set of bedfellows the president. Without the support of members of his own party angering people like Nancy Pelosi yet creating these strange alliances with Republicans. To get this bill passed. This is without precedent during the Obama years he has been criticized so often for working only in primarily with members of his own party. A Health Care Reform the stimulus package those are things that cast only with democratic votes soda have a meter right in his second term that he relied so much and Republicans is. Is pretty extraordinary. And this would not a pass in at democratic controlled congress it would not a pass only with democratic votes. He needed Republicans to carry most of the water goes the way they are forum. And you mentioned Nancy Pelosi Alan and you and I were word word indie scene shares couple weeks ago. When Nancy Pelosi stunned it her colleagues in the house came out against the trade package. That's at everything at the chaos at the White House back to negotiating table back to the drawing board try to get something done. It was a pretty pretty hairy couple weeks that have that strained relationship between the president and his fellow Democrats he needed just enough of them to put it forward. But he does have a Republican that thing for this victory. And you know. Do the Republicans you know who supported the president on this does this hurt them along with their Bain. That they had to work when Obama on mentors it's all all around good for their image this is using this. To see play out of the 2016 campaign held him in a few Republicans who said. Well this is President Obama we're talking about we don't want to trust them with any of them many of the most of them. I've gone along with what big business the chamber of commerce and others have been saying on this which is this is important for American jobs important have access to these markets Asia such an important trading partner have fast track authority to allow this sprawling deal with Asia to get done. Is good for American businesses so that has been mostly what they've had to say they were almost giddy with the idea that it the president needed them more than he needed the other the other way around when they needed him. And that he had the begging cajole fellow Democrats to get this done so on a political basis they could smile a little bit. I don't think there's likely to be much long term damage to the party for delivering something that actually. Is closer to Republican priorities than democratic ones keep in mind. The folks on the other side of this were a who's who of the progressive community from the environmental activists to. Axes to to labor activists labor unions like the AFL CIO they were dead set against this they wanted this to go down planes. Rick funny enough McConnell and Boehner skipped the signing should we read anything into that. Well it's in the in fairness congress isn't in session right now on speaker Boehner believes Lithuania. Mitchell tunnels closer in Kentucky but he didn't feel like either come back for this. I don't think that photo op is one that any Republican would have been keen to celebrate I think that was a couple of Republicans in the crowd today but you're right the most prominent ones happen not to be here very conveniently for all involved. Although we did you present Obama mentioned in single him out right at the top wouldn't happen without them it is no doubt about it but. As always in politics when you have these cases it strange that tells you not always clear on who you wanna they actually get the public banks because it. Whenever speaker Boehner is bank by the president publicly on something there are whole bunch of Tea Party members of congress even who say that's what's wrong with speaker mayors yet be careful about doling out praise in circumstances like. And at this point what's next the trade bill now that the president has fast track authorization. For negotiations. Now though the final stages of negotiations with this trans Pacific partnership. An unprecedented in its scope twelve nations involved they sprawling enormous undertaking. That can now get completed and in and brought to congress just for an up or down vote as opposed to going through with all sorts of amendments that would then force back to the negotiating table. They are there is now and in stage goal for the transfer that. The trans Pacific partnership a major major priority of our Pacific allies a major party for this administration. And there is there is. Peace in the land of trade for the president for the first time in many many months. ABC's Rick Klein as always thank you so much we appreciate it thank you. And you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading ABC news app and storing the story for exclusive updates. On the go I'm Caroline Costello in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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