Obama's trade pitch faces tough sell in US Congress

The US Senate is to hold a test vote on whether to consider giving Barack Obama fast-track trade promotion authority to complete a massive trade deal with 11 other Pacific rim countriesThings are not quite square in Washington when the biggest backer of President Barack Obama’s current legislative priority is the Senate’s top Republican and its arch foe is the Democratic leader. Yet that is the scenario in the US Senate, which holds a test vote Tuesday on whether to consider giving Obama fast-track trade promotion authority (TPA) to complete a massive trade deal with 11 other Pacific rim countries. Senate Republicans mostly support the measure, which would allow Obama to present a trade deal to Congress for an up or down vote, but with lawmakers forfeiting rights to make changes.

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