In Laos for the ASEAN summit, U.S. President Barack Obama says that the TPP trade agreement ''will be ratified.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday (September 7) that he believes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will eventually be ratified. Obama made the comments during a town hall-style meeting with a group of young people at a university in Laos, where Obama is set to attend the ASEAN summit. "I believe it will be ratified because it's the right thing to do. You know, we're in political season now and it's always difficult to get things done. Congress isn't doing much right now they're all going home and talking in their constituent trying to get re-elected. So after the election I think people can re-focus their attention on why it is so important," he said. "I believe that we'll will get it done, but it's always going to be hard. Nothing is easy in the U.S. Congress right now. Maybe there was a time when it was but I haven't seen it. It sure hasn't been easy since I've been president. Eventually we'll get it done," Obama added. Congressional leaders have been pessimistic about the odds of ratifying the deal either during the short session in September, or during the brief "lame duck" session after the November 8 election. Earlier on Monday (September 5) Obama said that U.S. trading partners in Asia did not need to be persuaded of the benefits of the TPP, and that Washington would eventually approve the trade pact. Obama has made the 12-nation TPP the centerpiece of a diplomatic "pivot" to Asia, but the prospects for U.S. congressional approval have looked increasingly dim, with both major presidential candidates - Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump - standing opposed.