President Obama is used to being stymied in Congress by Republicans, but it was Democratic House members who blocked his bid last week for fast-track authority on a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations. Now maybe he’ll listen.

The embarrassment for the president may be only temporary, as it was in the Senate last month before that chamber ultimately approved its trade authority bill. Representatives who have spoken out on behalf of U.S. manufacturing jobs should not relent unless Obama gives them assurances that the next global trade deal will not ship American work overseas.

Seeking fast-track trade authority has been one of Obama’s biggest flip-flops. As a presidential candidate, he denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was already on the books. He said it cost the United States up to a million jobs and did not come with sufficient protections for key industries.

The same could happen with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping bill that members of Congress have been allowed to examine only in secret. If TPP is really a fair shake for the American worker, why has it been hidden from public view?

While CEOs from large corporations, as well as Wall Street, favor fast-track, Americans who rely on average jobs may have reason to worry. House Democrats and Republicans who are in their corner must hold out for a deal that works for Main Street.

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