Fast-track trade legislation has passed the Senate and been sent to the president.
It took a second try, but Trade Promotion Authority, better known as fast-track trade legislation, has passed.
The United States Senate voted 60-to-38 to approve TPA. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. TPA is a key piece of the president’s economic development package.
TPA gives authority to a presidential administration to negotiate a trade deal with another country. The deal will be submitted to Congress for approval on an up-or-down vote without amendments.
U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer dismisses concerns fast-track gives a presidential administration too much power in trade deals with other countries.
“Because Congress does set the principles in the negotiation process and Congress will be a part of that process now, because both the House and the Senate have to vote on any trade agreement,” Fischer tells Nebraska Radio Network in a telephone interview.
TPA got hung up in the House of Representatives a couple of weeks ago. The main bill squeezed to passage in the House, but failed to move forward when a companion piece went down to defeat, killing the trade legislation package.
House leadership pushed forward a stripped down version, which passed again by a narrow margin.
Fischer sees trade as vital to the Nebraska economy, which exports $9 billion in goods and services each year, $7 billion from the agricultural sector alone.
“I think Nebraskans are fully aware of the very, very positive impact trade has on the state,” Fischer says.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]