Reid: Senate on track to advance trade legislation

Before adourning the Senate, Reid also announced there would be votes on up to five amendments to the pending legislation starting tommorrow morning. 

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) bill currently pending would renew an expired program that provides for cheaper American manufacturing by establishing tariff-free exports on some manufacturing inputs to the United States from over 120 developing countries.

The fairly noncontroversial legislation’s larger purpose in the upper chamber, however, is to serve as a vehicle for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program which is aimed at helping workers who lose their jobs due to international trade.

Both TAA and GSP are critical components of a greater deal among congressional leaders and the White House to renew three pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. 

President Obama supports the agreements but some Democrats, in particular, have said they will not move forward with the free trade agreements until TAA is renewed. Others like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) outright oppose the agreements.

Prior to adjourning at around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the Senate also passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution stating that Taiwan should be accorded observer status in the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The Senate is set to reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday

Ariel Katz contributed to this report. This report was updated at 7:34 p.m.