The Monitor's View Why Obama needs a key tool for trade talks

A new bipartisan bill in Congress would give the president special authority to negotiate trade pacts. Such economic measures are a vital means for peaceful cooperation between nations.

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America’s new defense secretary, Ashton Carter, likes to joke that a free-trade pact with Asia would be “as important to me as another aircraft carrier.” His larger point is that economic cooperation can be a powerful peacekeeper. It is a good argument to make as Congress weighs passage of a bipartisan bill on trade.