Senate Gives Obama Fast Track Trade Authority For Trade Negotiations

Pete Souza/WH Photo

The Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) on Wednesday, as expected.

TPA gives President Obama fast-track authority to finalize his trade deals — Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The final vote was 60-38, matching the number of yes votes in yesterday’s crucial cloture motion.

With TPA, Congress cannot issue any amendments on a trade deal, but rather only gets a final up or down vote on the final trade deal.

The legislation passed the House last week, and now moves to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

Part of the debate over TPA’s passage in the House last week was due to Trade Adjustment Authority (TAA), a welfare program for displaced workers hurt by trade deals. The debate between Republicans and Democrats was over how to fund that program.

TPA passed both the House and the Senate without including TAA.


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