U.S. expects Congress to pass fast-track trade bill within next month

The United States expects the trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation, which is seen as an important step to speed free trade deals, will be passed by the Congress over the next month, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. “We believe that the votes are there to move forward,” Catherine Novelli, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, told reporters in Singapore. “We do expect it to be passed soon, within the next month or so.” The TPA legislation allows U.S. lawmakers to set objectives for trade deals in exchange for a yes-or-no vote. Delays in finalising the legislation are casting a cloud over a 12-nation trade pact many thought was near completion, officials close to the negotiations told Reuters last month.

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