WASHINGTON – Crystal tumblers of Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, on the rocks. Maine lobster and Maryland blue crabs, garnished with lemon slices. An adorable black Montana steer, staring head on into the camera.
These American-as-apple-pie images from a report released last week are ones the White House wants to spring to mind when Americans think about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a sprawling 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal that President Obama has to sell to the U.S. Congress.
But even as Obama's top trade advisers extolled the 18,000 TPP "tax cuts" on a conference call with reporters, they were quickly overshadowed by the political head winds that will buffet its passage.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she rejected the deal, aligning herself with skeptics from labor and environmental groups who argue the deal will kill U.S. jobs.
Obama has said he is confident the deal will pass Congress, but he will need to count on Republicans for support. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the influential chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has already said his colleagues have concerns and "quite a few" votes could be lost.
The White House will post the hefty text of the document on a website in the next few weeks, after lawyers have finished going over it.
In the meantime, it released a glossy state-by-state report to frame the benefits, complete with pictures and factoids.
Food figures prominently. Obama said on Tuesday that farmers, coming from every state and both Democratic and Republican districts, could help convince Congress to pass the TPP.
But North Carolina is represented by colorful spools of yarn, not tobacco plants. Republican senators from the tobacco-exporting state are angry about the TPP would let governments block tobacco companies from suing over anti-smoking measures.
Omitted from the report: any overt sign that big U.S. corporations, which have pushed for the deal, stand to gain.
Illinois is represented by a bulldozer, without mentioning Caterpillar Inc. Minnesota is illustrated with packaging tape, but does not explain that the headquarters of 3M Co. is located in the state.
Instead, the report showcases small businesses like Colorado's Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, whose craft beer has been priced out of Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Australia because of high tariffs.
"If you were to get rid of some of these tariffs, all of a sudden, we become more competitive in the marketplaces out there," said Kevin Selvy, Crazy Mountain's chief executive, on a conference call organized by the White House.
Initial ambitions for the TPP were clipped back in many areas to find agreement among the 12 countries. There was also concern that public summaries did not disclose the detail where the devils might lurk — making it hard to quickly pick winners and losers.
New Zealand's Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd., the world's biggest dairy exporter, said "entrenched" U.S. protectionism meant the deal fell far short of its original ambition to eliminate all tariffs but was still a "small but significant" step forward.
The Dairy Farmers of Canada highlighted financial losses, albeit mitigated by a "fair compensation package," after Canada agreed to open 3.3 percent of its dairy market to imports.
Beef, sugar, rice, seafood and horticulture companies in Australia and New Zealand welcomed the increased access to Japanese markets thanks to tariff reductions under the deal.
The U.S. agreed to cut tariffs on Japanese vehicles over 25 to 30 years but also won better access for U.S. carmakers to the relatively closed Japanese market.
Still, Ford Motor Co. recommended lawmakers vote against the deal as it does not include sanctions against countries found to be manipulating their currencies.
Jane Wardell and Krista Hughes of Reuters contributed to the report.