Friday, June 19, 2015

U.S. House Approves Trade Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives voted (Bloomberg) 218 to 208 to pass fast-track legislation that would grant President Barack Obama trade promotion authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.
This CFR Backgrounder explores the future of U.S. trade policy.
“This is a vote for a stronger economy and higher wages. This is a vote for our system of free enterprise. This is a vote for American leadership,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, on the floor before the vote.The measure, known as trade promotion authority, would let Obama submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments. It would give the authority to Obama and the next president for six years as part of a package that revamps U.S. trade policy into the next decade.
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a joint statement Wednesday vowing that Congress would send President Barack Obama a package of trade bills that would allow him to finish negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The House could begin the process Thursday, by voting on a bill to grant Obama fast-track trade negotiation authority. The joint statement is a sign that congressional leaders believe they'll have the votes to revive Obama's trade agenda after it was derailed last week by House Democrats.  

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