On 22 May, the US Senate after all managed to pass the so-called fast-track for the President to conclude trade negotiations with foreign countries. The piece of legislation is intended to make trade negotiations easier by limiting the powers of the Congress to a simple yes-no vote on the final deal negotiated by the Administration. Normally, the Congress would be allowed to pass amendments or to filibuster the whole agreement, thus practically delaying the deal conclusion indefinitely. Earlier, a Senate majority of 52 managed to block the fast-track, but an unlikely coalition of like-minded Republicans and Democrats defeated the trade negotiations opponents and passed the bill with 62 votes last Friday. The bill will now be debated in the House, where it is said to have gained momentum. Although mainly being considered for its impact on the ongoing TPP negotiations, it could also be beneficial for the EU-US TTIP talks.
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2nd May 2018