US House approves aid for workers hit by trade deals - a boost for Pacific Rim pact

Boeing employees listen as US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Boeing employees listen as US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to renew assistance for American workers hurt by liberalised trade, an important step in President Barack Obama's drive for a massive Pacific Rim trade deal.

The House approved the measure in a 286-138 vote.

Without action by Congress, the worker aid programme would have expired on Sept 30, just as the Obama administration could be trying to wrap up a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal encompassing 40 per cent of the world's economy and ranging from Chile to Japan.

The Senate passed the legislation on Wednesday.

With House passage, it now goes to Obama for signing into law.