McConnell hoping to pass trade promotion authority

The Senate's top Republican hopes the upper chamber can move forward soon with trade promotion authority, which would streamline passage of global agreements. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDisconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page GOP senator: There will never be full U.S.-Mexico border wall Overnight Tech: Dem wants to see FCC chief's net neutrality plans | New agency panel on telecom diversity | Trump calls NASA astronaut MORE (Ky.) said Tuesday that he wants to pass so-called fast-track authority because it is one of the few issues where Congress and the White House agree.

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"Hopefully, we can work this out and go forward because we all know without trade promotion authority, there will be no trade agreement, and a trade agreement is obviously in the best interests of our country," he told reporters.

Discussions over legislation that detail negotiating priorities on trade are ongoing in Congress. 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchDisconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page Overnight Tech: Dem wants to see FCC chief's net neutrality plans | New agency panel on telecom diversity | Trump calls NASA astronaut Lighthizer expected to win committee approval to lead trade office MORE (R-Utah), panel ranking member Ron WydenRon WydenTrump to impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber State removes post highlighting Trump Mar-a-Lago resort Lighthizer expected to win committee approval to lead trade office MORE (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanGeorgia campaigns keep up pressure ahead of runoff vote Meet the centrist trying to strike a deal on healthcare Five key moments from Trump's first 100 days MORE (R-Wis.) are all keen on reaching an agreement on a bill that can gain congressional approval. 

Fast-track would allow any trade deals that reach Congress to speed through without amendment. 

Several Obama administration officials — U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE and Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council — were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to brief Democrats on trade and more discussions are expected.

Meanwhile, labor unions are planning to blitz Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to oppose fast-track authority because they argue it is bad for jobs and wages.

Earlier in the day, top business executives called on Congress to give President Obama the authority to negotiate trade deals.

They said that their businesses would ramp up hiring here under new trade agreements.