BEAVERTON, United States (AFP) - US President Barack Obama visited Nike's headquarters in Oregon on Friday to push for a Trans-Pacific trade deal opposed by some of his closest congressional allies.
Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker lent Obama a hand by announcing he will ramp up advanced manufacturing in the United States, creating up to 10,000 jobs, if the trade deal passes.
Congress is currently weighing whether to grant Obama authority to conclude the 12-nation free-trade that would encompass 40 per cent of the global economy.
Obama used the visit to take on Democrats who believe the deal would put US jobs at risk, telling them, in effect, "just do it."
"On this issue, on trade, I actually think some of my dearest friends are wrong. They are just wrong," Obama told assembled workers.
"On every progressive issue they are right there with me and then on this one, they are like whooping on me," he joked.
"I've run my last election, and the only reason I do something is because I think it is good for American workers and the American people and the American economy.
"I don't have any other rationale for doing what I do."
Aside from enlisting Nike in his trade fight, Obama's visit will also help warm ties with Oregon's senior Senator, Ron Wyden.
Wyden, a Democrat, added his name to the bill that would give Obama "fast track" authority, making sure it is seen as bipartisan.
With elections coming and some major unions in opposition, many Democrats had refused to sign on.