The Senate has finally approved the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which puts President Obama’s trade-push back on course and brings an end to longstanding disagreements between the Republicans and Democrats. The approval of the TPA, or “fast-track”, as it is sometimes known, means that the president can more easily approve trade deals, and paves the way for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
The vote brings the Obama administration one step closer to finalising the
A procedural vote on Tuesday to overturn a filibuster was approved 60 to 37, and the same margin again voted to pass the bill the following day. The amendment means that Congress can only vote for or against finalised trade motions, and leaves it without the power to make amendments. The legislation means also that Obama can pass trade deals far more quickly, without the same degree of opposition that has so characterised Congress of late.
The vote brings the Obama administration one step closer to finalising the TPP legislation, which, if approved, would lift a series of barriers on both trade and foreign investment. The deal would include neighbouring Canada, as well as Mexico, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam, which together play host to 800 million people and make up 40 percent of global trade.
The implications of the deal are far-reaching, and include matters such as environmental preservation and workers’ right, as well as industry-specific regulations, yet discussion on the points has come up against criticism for its lack of transparency. The approval of TPA effectively guarantees that Congress will vote on the TPP deal soon, though whether it will be approved is uncertain.