Big Tobacco is pushing back against a strict anti-smoking provision in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and has enlisted the support of the most powerful Republican in the Senate to help quash it.
The ire of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other tobacco-state lawmakers could throw a wrench into the delicate negotiations to close the agreement and secure congressional approval. President Barack Obama sees the deal as essential to securing his economic legacy.
Story Continued Below
Until now, McConnell has been among the president’s staunchest allies on the pact, which includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan and eight other Pacific Rim nations and would cover 40 percent of the world’s economic output.