Protesters rally outside the hotel where Obama is participating in a Democratic National Committee (DNC) event in Portland, Oregon

Fast-track trade bill faces key test in U.S. Congress

Protesters rally outside the hotel where Obama is participating in a Democratic National Committee (DNC) event in Portland, OregonBy Krista Hughes and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pacific trade agreement faces its first test in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday in a knife-edge vote that may hold the key to President Barack Obama’s diplomatic pivot to Asia. The Senate vote is one of a likely series of congressional hurdles to be overcome that will hinge on the support of a handful of Democrats. The White House has launched a campaign blitz directed at them in support of granting the president authority to speed trade deals through Congress. Fast-track legislation gives lawmakers the right to set negotiating objectives but restricts them to a yes-or-no vote on trade deals such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a potential legacy-defining achievement for Obama.

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