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Trade Bills Reach President Obama’s Desk

On June 24, the U.S. Senate approved legislation renewing trade promotion authority (TPA). The bill (H.R. 2146) passed on a vote of 60-38, allowing it to be sent to President Obama for his signature. Renewal of TPA is viewed as a critical and necessary step for completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and accelerating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union.

The Senate also passed a trade preferences bill (H.R. 1295) that was then sent to the House of Representatives for approval. The bill includes reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as well as reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The previous week, TAA reauthorization failed in the House when many House Democrats voted against the program because it was packaged with renewal of TPA, but this time the House approved H.R. 1295 by a vote of 286-138.