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May 23, 2015

Senate votes to grant Obama fast-track power on trade deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama scored a major victory on Friday when the U.S. Senate voted to give him “fast-track” powers that would help wrap up negotiations on a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia.

Attention now turns to the House of Representatives, where opposition is deeper to granting the president power to negotiate trade deals that can be approved or rejected by Congress but not amended.

May 22, 2015

U.S. Senate closer to approving fast-track trade bill

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Friday was
poised to approve the “fast-track” authority that President
Barack Obama says he needs to complete a 12-nation Pacific Rim
trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia.

The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected a push by
some lawmakers to include rules to punish currency manipulators,
a measure the Obama administration worked to defeat.
An alternative amendment, one that opponents
said lacks enforcement, was approved.

May 22, 2015

U.S. Senate aims to pass fast-track trade bill Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Friday was poised to approve the “fast-track” authority that President Barack Obama says he needs to complete a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia.

The Republican-controlled Senate still must decide several amendments, including a contentious one on currency manipulation that the Obama administration has been working to defeat. An alternative amendment, one that opponents say lacks enforcement, also will be weighed by the chamber.

May 22, 2015

Senate advances fast-track trade bill sought by Obama

Washington (Reuters) – President Barack Obama moved closer to winning the power to speed trade deals through the Congress, as the Senate on Thursday advanced legislation important to his Asian trade push.

Senators voted 62-38 to set up a speedy decision on the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority the president needs to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

May 21, 2015

Fast-track legislation passes U.S. Senate hurdle in win for Obama

Washington (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s signature Asian trade push cleared another hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Thursday after a knife-edge vote moved the White House closer to gaining the power to speed trade deals through Congress.

Senators voted 62-38 to give Obama a major victory and set up a speedy decision on the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority the president needs to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. TPP is seen as central to U.S. efforts to counter China’s increasing economic muscle.

May 20, 2015

Obama’s Asian trade push in doubt as Senate vote looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s keynote Asian trade push risks failing in a Senate vote on Thursday, a result that would threaten the administration’s diplomatic pivot to Asia to counter China’s rising economic and political clout in the region.

Failure of “fast-track” legislation, which would grant Obama the power to speed the deal through Congress, would mark a huge blow for the president, who has made a deepening of ties with Asia one of his top foreign policy priorities.

May 20, 2015

Senators threaten to block trade debate over Ex-Im renewal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation to fast track trade deals through Congress inched a step closer to a U.S. Senate vote on Tuesday but Democratic and Republican senators threatened to block debate until they are assured of a vote to keep the Export-Import Bank alive.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, took procedural steps aimed at bringing a debate on the trade bill, which is seen as key to securing a Pacific trade pact.

May 15, 2015

Trade supporters breathe easier as U.S. trade bill clears Senate hurdle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 12-nation Pacific trade agreement cleared a crucial test in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, giving a resounding thumbs-up to legislation that holds the key to President Barack Obama’s diplomatic pivot to Asia.

Just two days after Democrats defied Obama to block debate on a bill to “fast-track” trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal through Congress, the Senate voted 65 to 33 to move ahead with consideration of the measure.

May 14, 2015

U.S. House kills move for military duty for some undocumented immigrants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on
Thursday went on record as being against any action by the
Pentagon toward formally allowing undocumented immigrants who
arrived in the United States as children to serve in the U.S.
armed forces.

By a vote of 221 to 202, the Republican-controlled House
killed language that had been added into an annual defense
budget bill. The language stated that the U.S. defense secretary
should review whether allowing such undocumented residents was
in the national interest and thus make them eligible to enlist
as soldiers.

May 14, 2015

U.S. Senate backs clampdown on currency cheats ahead of key trade vote

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. senators on Thursday
backed tough new rules against currency manipulation ahead of an
important test vote that holds the key to completing a Pacific
Rim trade deal, the backbone of the Obama administration’s pivot
to Asia.

The Senate voted 78 to 20 to allow the United States to slap
import duties on goods from countries found to be artificially
lowering the value of their currencies to gain an export
advantage, despite objections from the White House that the
measure would breach international trade laws.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
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