The Trade Game

Last Thursday, The Obama Administration released the long awaited Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between the United States and eleven other countries including Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Vietnam, Peru, Canada, Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia. Fox News’ first article reporting the release, “Obama Faces Dem Fury Over Newly Released Trade Deal” utilizes a game frame, emphasizing the conflict between the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats.

The Fox article focuses on President Obama’s challenges in passing the trade agreement, which has met with contention from both sides of the aisle. Noted as “job-killing,” Fox describes the trade deal in terms of its lack of support. While it does give some background context of the agreement such as its elimination of 16,000 taxes on U.S. exports and its demanding of the allowance of unionized labor in low-wage countries, it does little to clarify its purpose and goals. The game frame is created by placing the President in opposition to Congress, abandoned by his fellow Democratic team members. They allude to President Obama as unfavorable and distant from Democrat’s usual avoidance of deals with big business. In contrast, while some Republicans do not agree with the agreement, Republicans are shown as agreeable and possibly willing to pass the deal. Creating rivalries between the President and his party focuses the reader away from partisan issues within Congress and onto viewing the President as a weak politician, unable to lead his own party.

Essentially, the article does little to explain the partisan aspects of the bill, does not indicate why it may cause job loss, and places blame on the President’s inability to pass the bill rather than the problem of congressional disagreement. Like a typical game frame, Fox does note the political circumstances of passing the bill but does little to explain the issues. Fox’s article supports their preexisting, uncomplimentary views of the Obama Administration. After reading the article, having learned nothing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I sought out other news stories that actually described key elements of the deal’s proposals. Further suggesting that the game frame provides information on the ‘politics’ of certain issues, but does little to assist understanding of policy initiatives

The Fox Article

The Trade Game

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