Senate approves trade bill after rejecting GOP amendments

The vote came after the Senate rejected three GOP amendments, including one that would have limited the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to workers who lose their jobs due to a specific increase in imports from a country with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement. Another would have required a report on the consequences of failing to act on pending trade deals, and another would have required the U.S. to sell Taiwan new F-16 fighter planes.

A fourth Democrat amendment, from Rep. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), extended and authorized the TAA program on a bill that reinstated the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

Senate passage was expected and is part of an agreement that could help dislodge three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Republicans have objected to approving TAA as a condition of approving the FTAs.