Jun 25, 2015 1:45 PM by News Staff
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has approved the final pieces of President Barack Obama's hard-fought trade agenda and sent them to his desk.
The vote clears the way for Obama's administration to wrap up negotiations on a 12-nation Pacific-rim trade deal and send it to Congress under newly approved "fast track" rules.
Congress can reject or ratify the pact but not change it.
The House voted 286-138 Thursday for a "trade preferences" bill. It includes money to retrain workers displaced by trade deals.
The retraining program normally is a Democratic priority. But it briefly became hostage to House Democrats' unsuccessful efforts to block fast track.
Unions and liberal groups say free-trade agreements hurt U.S. jobs. Obama and most GOP leaders say U.S. products must reach more markets.
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