Senate grants Obama big win with fast track trade authority

Jun 24, 2015 4:44 PM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has handed President Barack Obama a major victory by approving "fast track" authority to negotiate trade agreements in Asia and elsewhere.

The 60-to-38 vote on Wednesday clears the way for Obama to seek final language on a trade agreement with Japan and 10 other Pacific-rim nations. Congress can ratify or reject such agreements but not change them.

The Senate granted Obama the same fast-track authority that previous presidents have enjoyed. The GOP-controlled House passed it earlier with help from 28 Democrats.

The vote was a stinging defeat for environmental groups and for unions that say free-trade agreements kill U.S. jobs.

Obama and Republican leaders say U.S. producers must reach more global markets.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Most Popular