U.S. Senate Votes, Obama Trade Bill Back On Track

U.S. Senate Votes, Obama Trade Bill Back On Track
Obama speaking (19) Daniel Borman / Flickr CC BY 2.0

The crucial Pacific and European trade deals bill will be back on track after the U.S. Senate votes again. The bill will be forwarded to President Barrack Obama after the senate reaches a compromise on Wednesday. A day after failed votes, it introduced a new trade bill that will allow free trade with Asia and Europe. Under such, Congress could support or reject the bill, but they cannot change it.


On Thursday, voters will decide on three separate trade measures — two separate votes on bills that reflect Democrats’ priorities. It will include one that will decide on Chinese currency manipulation. Another vote will decide on a bill that would allow Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate dealings.

This bill, called the Trade Promotion Authority, will allow the president to sign a trade agreement without the approval of others. Congress will get 90 days to approve or reject any trade agreement but they won’t have any power to alter it.

The Obama administration is in the centre of two historic agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

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Majority of Senate members oppose the TPP due to loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and poor working conditions in developing countries.

Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who stressed on the currency provisions, claimed that Thursday’s vote was significant.

“China seems to feel that they can get away with any kind of trade misdeed,” he said. “This currency bill will be finally the first real shot across the bow to China that you can’t keep getting away with it.”

Republicans gear up to vote for the customs bill on Thursday.

“This is a clear road to trade wars and currency wars replete with competitive devaluations,” said Orrin Hatch, Republican chair of the Senate Finance Committee.