President Barack Obama blames the failure to win passage of a multinational trade agreement on the fact that it’s political season in the United States.
He says it’s always difficult to get things done when lawmakers are in the midst of campaigning for re-election.
At a Q-and-A session with Southeast Asian youth leaders, Obama says he thinks Washington will refocus after the election on why the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is so important.
Obama strongly supports the agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries to reduce tariffs on thousands of goods, but there is strong resistance to it in Congress.
Republican leaders of the House and Senate have suggested the prospects for passage this year are dim. Both major presidential candidates also oppose TPP.
Still, Obama says he believes “we’ll get it done.”