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House Passes Free Trade Bill

June 19, 2015

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The House approved a six-year renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority bill by 218-208 votes. TPA provides a fast track to getting bills through Congress, allowing them to be approved or rejected but not amended. President Obama is pushing for passage of this bill to help complete a Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, a 12-nation trade pact with Asia-Pacific nations.

Trucking officials believe that a free trade bill would boost the U.S. economy and in turn boost trucking and freight transportation. Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations, said: "When we trade goods, at some point in the supply chain, it's going on a truck... Any time you can get trade expanded, you've got new markets, new opportunities and new business."

TPA’s passage comes only a week after the House voted it down in a bill that also included trade adjustment assistance (TAA). Much of the media notes that although TPA's passage is a victory for President Obama and the GOP, difficulties still exist in passing TPA without TAA.

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