"That's been a big piece of the business community's mantra for a long time: trade," said Daley, who was an adviser to President Bill Clinton on NAFTA and became Obama's chief of staff last month. "Just about every Republican I've engaged with in one way or the other at social events or calls, when I got the job . . . all of them that I've talked to, they all go right to Korea and the trade issue, because I think there's a belief that, you know, that can help the economy."
So, there you have it. Some businesses and some Republicans believe that the Korea FTA will help the economy, so the White House is making it a priority.
But, as we've documented, the projections show that the reality of the Korea FTA will be a net negative for the economy. And, as Roll Call reported yesterday, plenty of small business groups and Republicans are against the deal:
Opponents of free-trade deals say they can swing tea party backers to their side. Michael Ostrolenk, national director of StopUSKoreaNAFTA.org, said his center-right libertarian group favors free trade but opposes the South Korea deal because it would cost U.S. jobs and sovereignty.
In other words, there's a formula for uniting the country (as opposed to just west Lafayette Park residents) around trade expansion, but the Korea FTA ain't it.