Elizabeth Warren breaks with Massachusetts tech industry over trade deal

Posted by John Mathewson on May 5, 2015

President Obama, as well as Congress, is working on a comprehensive trade deal with Asian countries known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The purpose of the bill is to establish a strong U.S. presence in that region of the world, to help compete with China’s growing economic dominance in international trade.

While the president does have his supporters for the trade agreement, the controversial trade deal is not without its detractors. One of the most notable is a member of President Obama’s own party, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The liberal hero has been vocal with her opposition to the deal, to the disappointment of the administration.

“I love Elizabeth; we’re allies on a whole host of issues,” President Obama said early last week to reporters on MSNBC. “But she’s wrong on this.”

Senator Warren’s position also puts her at odds with members of her own constituency, particularly members of the Massachusetts technology industry. While labor and environmental groups around the country cheered Warren for her opposition to the trade deal, many in her own home state were not as thrilled with her opinions.

As lawmakers in D.C. consider legislation that would propel the legislation forward, Democrats from Massachusetts are at odds with key delegations. There is a deep split in the Democratic party over the role of free trade and its effect on American workers and different industries within the country.

Boston has a surging technology and biotech industries, which rely on free trade to countries all over the world. Business leaders are worried that a trade deal that doesn’t go through could end up having detrimental economic results, as nearly 400,000 Massachusetts jobs are already supported by trade to these Asian countries.

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