The much-anticipated release of the final text of a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement (TPP) became a reality on Thursday morning, kicking off what is expected to amount to months of intensive debate on Capitol Hill. The text of the TPP deal will be under the microscope of Congress and the broader public for at least 90 days before President Obama can sign the agreement, between the United States and 11 other nations: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Under fast-track rules, Congress is prohibited from amending the TPP deal.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.