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Free-Trade Bill Takes Big Step in U.S.

Posted May 15, 2015

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Alexander Panetta – Canadian Press)

The race to a major international trade deal cleared a key hurdle in the United States Congress on Thursday, recovering from a stumble two days earlier.

The Senate mustered enough votes to begin debate on a so-called fast-track bill, seen by some as a prerequisite for reaching any free-trade deal with the U.S.

That debate is being watched closely by Canada and other countries seeking to complete negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, which would create a sprawling, 12-nation trade zone.

The legislation moved ahead with a 65-33 vote, enough to override a filibuster. It appeared stuck earlier in the week, when Democrats sided en masse against the bill — and against their president. Click here to read more.

Related: After Lobbying by Obama, Senate Agrees to Vote on Trade Bill After All (NY Times)