in World News

Obama wins trade victory in the Senate

Communist-Obama

Obama wins trade victory in the Senate

President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.

A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight in the House, where it faces more entrenched opposition from Democrats.

The Senate coalition fought off several attempts by opponents to undermine the legislation, defeating amendments that were politically popular but potentially poisonous to Obama’s bid to secure the trade deal.

“This is an important bill, likely the most important bill we will pass this year. It’s important to President Obama,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and primary author of the bill, said at the close of debate.

TPA’s fast-track provisions would allow Congress, under strict timelines, to consider trade deals with a simple up-or-down vote without any amendments or requirements of a Senate super-majority to end debate. That would help Obama complete the final details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with the other 11 nations, a bloc that represents about 40 percent of the global economy.

If TPA clears Congress, Obama’s negotiators will push to conclude the Pacific trade pact and then send it to Congress for final approval, possibly later this year or early next year. The legislative package also includes new funding for labor training for workers that are certified for having lost their jobs because of foreign competition.

Obama’s aggressive push for the trade agenda has upended his relationship with his long-standing allies in the labor movement, as well as anti-corporate liberal activists who strongly supported his 2008 and 2012 elections. It sparked sharp exchanges, played out in the national media, with a liberal icon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), leading to one of Obama’s normally closest allies, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), to question whether he was being sexist for singling her out for criticism.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-wins-trade-victory-in-the-senate/2015/05/22/1cb6958e-00c7-11e5-8b6c-0dcce21e223d_story.html

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,