Fast-Track Trade Bill Deal Said to Be Reached by Congress

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has reached agreement on legislation to help President Barack Obama win approval of trade deals, including a Pacific-region pact now in negotiation, a Senate aide said.

Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, which have jurisdiction over trade accords, agreed today on so-called fast-track legislation that would let the White House negotiate trade deals that Congress would approve through an up-or-down vote, without adding amendments, the person said.

The bill will be introduced next month when Congress returns and include a measure to address concerns about currency manipulation among U.S. trading partners, the aide said, without providing further details. The Washington-based American Automotive Policy Council, which represents Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, is among groups that have pushed for the currency measure.

Fast-track, formally known as trade-promotion authority, can help the U.S. win other nations’ support for trade accords by letting them know the negotiated deals won’t be significantly changed. The U.S. is now brokering two major accords, the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 regional nations, and a separate free-trade deal with the 28-nation European Union.

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