Kerry hails 'good news' over 'fast-track' trade power

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on “Trade and National Security: Renewing US Leadership Through Economic Strength,” at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, April 23, 2015Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday hailed as “good news” initial backing from US lawmakers for a bill to give President Barack Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate a huge Pacific trade deal. If the draft legislation, approved by a Senate panel late Wednesday, is passed by the full Congress it would help move “forward the most significant trade negotiations in our history,” Kerry told a US think tank. The trade promotion authority will give Obama “the flexibility that he has to have to negotiate credibly and effectively on our nation’s behalf,” the top US diplomat said. The ambitious 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership would encompass 40 percent of the global economy largely through the participation of the United States and Japan, the world’s first and third largest economies.

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