Reid told reporters he opposed legislation aimed at smoothing the passage of free-trade agreements, a vital component to negotiating any deal, and pointedly said supporters should back down.
Sen. Reid Comes Out Against  TPP Fast Track
Credit: Google Images
January 29, 2014

This is some unexpected good news:

WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke publicly with the White House Wednesday on trade policy, instantly imperiling two major international trade deals and punching a hole in one piece of the economic agenda the president outlined in his State of the Union address a day earlier.

Mr. Reid told reporters he opposed legislation aimed at smoothing the passage of free-trade agreements, a vital component to negotiating any deal, and pointedly said supporters should back down.

"I'm against fast track," Mr. Reid (D., Nev.) said, using the shorthand term for legislation that prevents overseas trade agreements from being amended during the congressional approval process. "I think everyone would be well-advised just not to push this right now."

The move spells trouble for two sets of complicated talks, one with the European Union and the other with countries in the Asian-Pacific region. Both deals likely would have required such a "fast track" approval to clear the Congress. The U.S.'s negotiating partners wouldn't likely commit to a final agreement that could be unpopular back home without assurances that it couldn't be modified by U.S. lawmakers.

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