U.S. defense chief says influence at risk without Asia trade pact

Reuters reports that U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has thrown his weight behind the Obama administration’s bid to clear the way for a pan-Pacific trade pact, arguing that time was running out and that without a deal, U.S. influence and Asia-Pacific stability were at risk.

Twelve Asia-Pacific nations have been trying to conclude a trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But delays in the U.S. Congress in finalizing the Trade Promotion Authority that President Barack Obama needs to streamline its passage through Congress have raised doubts about whether it can be achieved. Read more

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