US Senate approves fast-track trade bill

Updated: 2015-06-25 08:57


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US Senate approves fast-track trade bill

A small group of protesters shout at senate offices as they demonstrate against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement on Capitol Hill in Washington June 23, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US Senate on Wednesday approved the so-called fast-track trade legislation, and the bill will be sent to the White House for signing.

The 60 to 38 Senate vote capped weeks of fighting over the trade bill and gave a big push for the Obama administration's trade agenda.

Already approved by the House, the bill will be sent to the President Barack Obama for signing.

The fast-track legislation, formally known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), empowers the president to negotiate trade deals and then present them to Congress for up or down vote, with no amendments allowed.

With the legislation passed by the full Congress, it will give US trading partners the confidence they need to put their best offers on the table and help the Obama administration conclude the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks, which are nearing completion after more than five years of negotiations.

Later Wednesday, the Senate also passed a package that includes trade adjustment assistance (TAA), which provides relief for US workers who lose their jobs as a result of US trade deals with other countries.

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