President Obama is hoping to make the case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement during his upcoming trip to Asia.
He’s planning a speech in Laos, addressing the 12-nation trade pact made of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.
A White House spokesman says the president believes there is still a path to get TPP done before he leaves office in January 2017.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber would not be voting on TPP this year.
Some farm groups say right now the prospects don’t look good.
“We took a blow last week when Majority Leader McConnell said he wasn’t going to bring it up on the Senate floor,” said Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We know neither major presidential candidates have been supportive, but I think our chances were slim before. They’re now even slimmer. Doesn’t mean we’ve given up hope. We continue to work on it, but it’s going to be a really tough road.”