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Senate votes to grant Obama fast-track power on trade deals

The US Senate advanced legislation to give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to forge a huge Asia-Pacific trade accord, after lawmakers struck a deal on a vote re-authorizing the Export-Import BankBy Richard Cowan and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama scored a major victory on Friday when the U.S. Senate voted to give him “fast-track” powers that would help wrap up negotiations on a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia. Attention now turns to the House of Representatives, where opposition is deeper to granting the president power to negotiate trade deals that can be approved or rejected by Congress but not amended. Obama needs trade promotion authority (TPA) to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement this year, an economic alliance that would encompass 40 percent of the world’s economies in countries ranging from Japan to Chile.

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