Senate Invokes Cloture on TPA Legislation

On May 14, the U.S. Senate voted to invoke cloture and proceed to debate on legislation renewing presidential trade promotion authority (TPA). The cloture motion, which had failed to attract the necessary 60 votes earlier this week, was approved on a vote of 65-33.

The Senate will now proceed to debate on the TPA legislation, which is packaged with a bill reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Debate is expected to last several days, so it is unclear at this time whether a Senate vote on TPA renewal will be taken before or after the Memorial Day recess. The House of Representatives is expected to take up the issue after Memorial Day.

Also on May 14, the Senate approved legislation renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act through September 2025 and retroactively renewing the Generalized System of Preferences program through 2017. The Senate also approved a customs and trade enforcement bill that includes retaliatory measures on currency manipulation that are strongly opposed by the White House and the Republican majority in the House.

President Obama has pledged to veto the customs and trade enforcement legislation if the currency manipulation measures are included in the version that reaches his desk. This may not happen, however, since these provisions are not expected to be included in the House version of the bill and therefore might not make it into the final version that comes out of the conference committee.