Richard's Feed
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.

May 14, 2015

U.S. Senate poised to breathe new life into Obama’s trade agenda

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s trade agenda, which focuses squarely on developing stronger ties with Asia, gets a shot at new life on Thursday when the U.S. Senate is set to hold an important test vote on legislation to help him complete a Pacific Rim deal.

Just two days earlier, Obama’s own Democrats defied him and blocked consideration of the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority he needs to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with 11 other Pacific Rim countries ranging from Chile to Malaysia.

May 13, 2015

Senate nears deal on trade vote after Democrat revolt against Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate appears to be closing in on a deal to begin voting on a controversial trade deal a day after a Democrat rebellion appeared to hurt the chances of President Barack Obama winning swift authorization to complete a Pacific trade pact.

A compromise being brokered between Republicans and Democrats would set up a vote on fast track trade authority with a worker assistance provision, while two other trade bills sought by Democrats, on currency manipulation and African trade benefits, would be considered separately.

May 12, 2015

U.S. Senate Democrats gang up to delay fast-track trade bill

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats
delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda
on Tuesday, blocking debate on a bill that would have smoothed
the path for a Pacific trade pact.

The stunning outcome cast doubt on legislation that is key
to the Obama administration’s ability to complete the 12-nation
Trans-Pacific Partnership, a central plank of its pivot to Asia.

May 12, 2015

Fast-track trade bill fails first test in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) – Legislation giving U.S.
President Barack Obama authority to speed trade deals through
Congress failed a crucial procedural test on Tuesday, delaying a
measure that may be key to President Barack Obama’s diplomatic
pivot to Asia.

In a setback to the White House trade agenda, the Senate
voted 52-45 – eight votes short of the necessary 60 – to clear
the way for debate on the legislation, which would allow a quick
decision on granting the president so-called fast track
authority to move trade deals quickly through Congress.

    • 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."
    • Follow Richard