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Jun 23, 2015

Pacific trade pact returns to U.S. Senate for second test

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature Pacific trade pact faces another test in the Senate on Tuesday as legislation needed to close the deal returns for a second run through the chamber.

The legislation has already endured six weeks of congressional wrangling and two close brushes with failure after revolts by Obama’s own Democrats, many of whom believe trade deals will threaten U.S. jobs.

Jun 22, 2015

Key Democratic senators back plan for trade legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate is headed toward showdown votes this week on legislation key to a Pacific trade pact, and two Democrats essential to passing the measure on Monday said they would support it, although some colleagues may change their votes to oppose the bill.

Senators Ron Wyden and Bill Nelson, two of 14 Democrats who backed a bill to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress last month, said they would again vote “yes” on a measure that has divided their party and put most congressional Democrats at odds with President Barack Obama, also a Democrat.

Jun 18, 2015

House win revives Obama’s Pacific trade pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers narrowly approved legislation key to securing a hallmark Pacific trade deal on Thursday, partly reversing a defeat less than a week before, in a boost to President Barack Obama’s goal of strengthening U.S. economic ties with Asia.

The House of Representatives voted 218 to 208 to give the White House authority to close trade deals such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which encompasses 40 percent of the global economy and is close to completion.

Jun 18, 2015

U.S. House plans vote to rescue Obama’s Pacific Rim trade pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will try to revive legislation central to President Barack Obama’s Pacific Rim trade deal on Thursday by offering up a simpler version of a bill that failed dramatically last week.

The move represents a rapid course correction by Republican leaders and Obama, who both favor the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a keystone of the president’s push to strengthen American ties with Asia.

Jun 17, 2015

House may vote on ‘fast-track’ Thursday: McCarthy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives might try again on Thursday to advance legislation granting President Barack Obama “fast track” trade negotiating authority, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Reuters on Wednesday.

In a brief hallway interview, McCarthy would not provide specifics, but said it “could be possible” the controversial trade legislation would be on the House floor on Thursday.

Jun 15, 2015

Outlook murky for Obama’s trade pact in Congress, Clinton weighs in

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hopes of reviving the White House’s drive for a Pacific trade pact looked increasingly uncertain on Monday as no clear path forward for it in Congress emerged and presidential contender Hillary Clinton said her fellow Democrats’ concerns with the pact were legitimate.

House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said key legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement only needed to be handled by the end of summer, with no date nailed down for further action in Congress.

Jun 13, 2015

Obama quest for fast-track trade bill on ice in House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A raging battle over President Barack Obama’s request for “fast-track” authority central to improving U.S. ties with Asia resumes in the House of Representatives next week when lawmakers are expected to try to reverse Friday’s defeat of linchpin trade legislation.

House Democrats disregarded Obama’s personal pleas and teamed up with Republicans, for different reasons, to overwhelmingly defeat a program that helps American workers who lose their jobs as a result of trade deals.

Jun 12, 2015

Razor-edge U.S. Congress vote to decide fate of Obama Pacific trade pact

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
goal of strengthening U.S. economic ties with Asia will hang in
the balance in Congress on Friday when divided lawmakers vote on
legislation central to his hallmark Pacific Rim trade deal.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Obama’s 12-nation pact,
encompasses 40 percent of the global economy and is close to
completion. It would be greatly advanced if Congress gives him
“fast track” authority for it.

Jun 11, 2015

House takes key step toward ‘fast-track’ vote on Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s quest for “fast-track” negotiating authority on a Pacific Rim trade deal passed its first test in the House of Representatives on Thursday, with another day of voting to come on a contentious package of bills.

By a vote of 397-32, the House approved a measure authorizing funds to help workers who lose their jobs as a result of trade deals, without cutting Medicare health benefits for the elderly to pay for it, as the Senate had proposed.

Jun 11, 2015

U.S. House navigates toward vote on ‘fast-track’ for Obama trade pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday will debate a package of bills central to President Barack Obama’s push for a Pacific Rim trade pact, with considerable doubt still lingering about the outcome expected by week’s end.

The core of the debate is a bill, already approved by the Senate, that would give Obama “fast-track” trade negotiating authority. He says he needs this to promptly conclude a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

    • 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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