On June 24, the U.S. Congress cleared a legislative bill authorizing President Barack Obama to pursue negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, ending weeks and months of partisan bickering.

To get a clear overall picture, it is essential to recognize two facts. One is that Obama is being punched from both sides and pushed into a corner like a losing boxer. The other is that regardless of the result of his fight with Congress, the United States will become increasingly self-centered in pursuit of its national interests in international trade negotiations.

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