U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says his opinion hasn’t changed on the “fast track” trade bill which will be considered by the Senate next week.
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President Obama favors this legislation, which gives him the authority to submit trade deals to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. He sees it as necessary to order to finalize the 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Durbin says his concern about what that final deal will look like is why he’s going against the president on this issue. “This trade agreement hasn’t been given to us,” Durbin said. “We only have a draft form of it, which we’re told will be changed.”
Durbin hopes if the trade authority bill is passed, then so is a companion bill reauthorizing what’s called Trade Adjustment Assistance, a program to assist U.S. workers displaced by free trade agreements.