Though the talking heads in the media are focused on the intra-party leadership fight following the unexpected and sudden resignation announcement of House Speaker John Boehner, Democrats have an internal battle of their own going on.
On Monday, the United States and Japan, along with ten other North American and Pacific Rim nations (Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, and Vietnam - which together comprise 36% of the Earth’s global domestic product), concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement that seeks to facilitate greater trade among these nations by reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade.
The negotiations, ongoing for the last decade, produced an agreement with mixed results for American interests. For example, U.S. negotiators claim the pact will strengthen intellectual property rights (which will benefit American pharmaceutical and technology companies) and open up foreign markets to American agricultural and dairy products. However, it would also reduce the duration that companies have market exclusivity for their products before they compete with generics.