Fast-Track Trade Bill Passes Crucial Vote in Senate

After several weeks of hotly contested debate and political drama, the Trade Promotion Authority Bill passed an important procedural milestone this morning and will be brought up for a vote in the coming days.

In a 62-38 vote, the vote closes debate on the fast-track bill and opens votes on several amendments to be added to the bill. It also sets the bill up for an important passage ahead of the Memorial Day recess, which has largely been seen as a crucial deadline.

Among the hotly contested amendments include currency manipulation provision introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer allowing the U.S. to penalize countries lowering currency rates to gain export advantage. Additionally Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed an amendment preventing businesses from challenging regulations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that could jeopardize their overseas investments.

The trade promotion authority bill would grant President Obama the ability to negotiate trade deals and present them to Congress without the option for amendment. It’s been highly controversial particularly given the fact that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is wrapping up negotiations, and trade agreements with Africa and Europe are underway.

For footwear, the Pacific Partnership is a crucially important agreement lifting and alleviating costly tariffs from Vietnam and other Pacific Rim nations.

The final vote is expected to take place Friday.

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