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Jun 9, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. tech industry appeals to Obama to keep hands off encryption

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. tech companies are warning the Obama administration against imposing new policies that the companies say would weaken increasingly sophisticated encryption systems designed to protect consumers’ privacy.

In a strongly worded letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, two industry associations representing major software and hardware companies said, “We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool.”

Jun 5, 2015

Malaysian jungle graves add to Obama’s trade pact headache in Congress

WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) – The discovery of scores of
graves in people-smuggling camps in Malaysia is casting a shadow
over President Barack Obama’s signature trade deal as U.S.
lawmakers consider punishing trading partners that are soft on
human trafficking.

Just as Obama’s drive to win “fast-track” trade negotiating
authority for the deal entered its most sensitive stage in the
U.S. Congress, Malaysian police announced the discovery of 139
graves in jungle camps used by suspected smugglers and
traffickers of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. safety officials to testify to Congress on Amtrak crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Human error remains a strong focus of the inquiry into the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, but federal investigators are still digging for answers, aides said ahead of the first hearing in the U.S. Congress on last month’s deadly accident.

House Republican aides told reporters on Monday that investigators might suspect human error caused Amtrak Train 188 to hit speeds of 106 miles per hour (171 km per hour) in a zone with a 50-mph (80-kph) speed limit.

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.

    • 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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