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US Senate leader opposes Obama on fast-track trade authority

Published on Jan 30, 2014 9:53 AM
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (centre) talks with reporters after the weekly Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the US Capitol on Jan 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his opposition to trade promotion legislation, tossing a wrench into White House efforts to build congressional support for massive free-trade deals with Asia and Europe. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his opposition to trade promotion legislation, tossing a wrench into White House efforts to build congressional support for massive free-trade deals with Asia and Europe.

"I'm against 'fast track,'" Mr Reid bluntly told reporters on Wednesday, a day after President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass such a tool to help open new markets for American products.

Asked if he will prevent such trade promotion authority legislation from going to the floor for a vote, Mr Reid said "we'll see," adding, "I think everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now."

TPA would allow Congress to pass or reject the deals on simple up or down votes, barring lawmakers from changing results of the delicate, years-long negotiations between Washington and other nations.

 
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