In his final State of the Union address, President Obama defined his legacy, defended his record and framed the debate for those who would succeed him.
In a break from tradition, President Obama limited the laundry list of legislative proposals knowing in this partisan political environment the chance for success is limited at best.
However, he called upon Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and lift the Cuban embargo.
Regarding TPP, the president says, “It cuts 18,000 taxes on products made in America, and supports more good jobs. With TPP, China doesn’t set the rules in that region – we do. You want to show our strength in this century? Approve this agreement. Give us the tools to enforce it.”
President Obama is the first U.S. president to call on Congress to lift the Cuban embargo. He said, “Opening up trade with Cuba would help consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere. Recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo.”
Both issues are high priorities for U.S. agriculture.