Reuters highlights an event hosted by the Atlantic Council on the Trans-Pacific Partnership with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel R. Russel:

U.S. officials said on Tuesday they will work with Congress to find a window for lawmakers to consider a sweeping Pacific trade pact and warned that rejecting the deal would raise questions about America’s leadership in the region.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said he was confident of winning political support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal sealed with 11 trading partners earlier this month, which drew a mixed initial response from Capitol Hill.

He said several trading partners had already expressed interest in joining the pact, which will cut trade barriers and set common standards for a region spanning nearly half the world economy.

“It is not a perfect agreement but I think at the end of the day when people dig into the details and learn about what’s in there … I’m confident we will have bipartisan support ultimately for its approval,” Froman said at an Atlantic Council event.

The senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, said a knock-back by Congress for the deal would cast a cloud over the United States’ leadership in the region.

“It would call into question the possibility that not only in the economic sphere but in the political and security sphere, that American follow-through may be lacking,” he said.

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