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You are here News Congress U.S. senators agree on path to fast-track trade bill

U.S. senators agree on path to fast-track trade bill

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ast track okayedU.S. senators said on Thursday they could present a bipartisan bill to move trade deals quickly through Congress as soon as later in the day after reaching agreement on aid for workers hurt by trade.

The move set the stage for a tough fight with critics.

Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said the legislation, key to closing a 12-nation Pacific trade pact and the Obama administration's pivot to Asia, could be unveiled in the afternoon and ready for full Senate consideration next week.

"We intend to put this to bed here before the end of the day," he told reporters after a committee hearing with senior administration officials marked by outbursts from some Democrats about the so-called fast track bill.

"It's important for America, it's important for the world that we get this done," Hatch said.

The deal between Hatch and the panel's top Democrat, Ron Wyden, to move trade promotion authority in tandem with a bill to extend support for workers hurt by trade is no guarantee legislation will pass Congress, with opponents lobbying hard to defeat it and many Democrats still undecided.

"You bring up TPA in the House today, the best you would have is a handful of Democrats," Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives committee responsible for trade, said at a Bloomberg conference.

Fast track authority restricts Congress to a yes-or-no vote on trade deals in exchange for setting negotiating objectives, laying out how much information is available on draft texts and other ground rules for negotiators.

TVNL Comment:  This is a bill that endangers US workers....and will make NAFTA look like child's play. Watch Democrats cave.

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