President Barack Obama’s bid for new trade agreements faces big tests in Congress this week, mostly from his fellow Democrats.
Pro-trade senators must produce 60 votes in the 100-seat chamber Tuesday to begin debate on “fast track” authority that Obama seeks. It would let him present Congress with proposed trade agreements that lawmakers can ratify or reject, but not amend.
If Obama receives fast track authority, which previous presidents have enjoyed, he’s expected to ask Congress to approve a 12-nation trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Participants include Japan, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico. Other trade proposals could follow.