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US House derails Obama trade agenda

Demonstrators protest against legislation to give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), during a protest march in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2015US lawmakers dealt a stinging blow Friday to President Barack Obama and his ambitious trade agenda, stalling a measure that would have given him fast-track authority to conclude a trans-Pacific trade accord. The vote, in which two-thirds of the House of Representatives opposed a workers aid program in the trade package, marked a defeat for the president, who had personally come to Capitol Hill earlier in the day in a failed bid to persuade fellow Democrats to back him. Immediately afterwards, the House actually passed the bill that would give Obama “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA) to rapidly conclude the Pacific trade deal and send it to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

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