08:58 GMT28 March 2020
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    US Secretary of State John Kerry called on the US Congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement to best serve American interests when it reconvenes after the November presidential election.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — If Congress fails to pass the TPP trade deal, Kerry argued, the US economy will lose its competitiveness and fall behind other nations, especially considering that 95 percent of America’s customers reside outside of the United States.

    "I hope that within a few weeks when the election is over and Congress returns to Washington to finish the people’s business, they will take up and approve TPP… to preserve, protect and defend the best interests of our beloved country," Kerry stated.

    The TPP, Kerry claimed, contains high labor and environmental standards that will be enforceable, unlike previous arrangements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    "These standards on labor and the environment and other key issues are not part of a ‘side deal’ that was reached and easily ignored as we know happened with respect to NAFTA," Kerry pointed out. "They are fully enforceable — which means that each participant must keep the promises they make or face tough sanctions for every violation."

    In October, 12 countries of the Pacific Rim region, including the United States and Canada, reached an agreement on the TPP trade deal, which intends to deregulate trade among the signatories. The trade deal has yet to be ratified by the signatory countries.


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    free trade zone, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), John Kerry, United States
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