US lawmakers tell Japan key deal on trade promotion authority likely this spring

Economic Indicators Associated Press

A delegation of U.S. lawmakers say a bipartisan congressional agreement on granting President Barack Obama trade promotion authority for a pan-Pacific trade deal is likely this spring.

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Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and seven other lawmakers were meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other top Japanese officials, promoting the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Progress toward a final TPP agreement among the dozen countries involved in the trade talks hinges partly on settling disputes between the U.S. and Japan on trade in farm products and autos.

Ryan and the other lawmakers said they believed the TPP was crucial for both economies and that there was growing support for giving the president the authority to fast-track an agreement.