Obama's bid for fast track trade negotiating authority survives key Senate vote

Economic Indicators Associated Press

President Barack Obama's trade agenda has survived a crucial Senate vote and seems well-positioned to become law.

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The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to begin full-blown debate on Obama's request for "fast track" negotiating authority. That was the exact number needed to avoid a filibuster.

The vote continued a revival process that began last week when Obama's trade allies resurrected the legislative package in the House and won a crucial vote there.

Previous presidents have enjoyed fast track authority. It lets them propose trade pacts that Congress can reject or ratify but not change.

Unions strongly oppose it. They say free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs.

Obama and most GOP leaders say U.S. products must reach more markets.