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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill 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.

"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 Grant HatchProminent conservative passes on Utah Senate bid Republicans offer this impossible choice: Tax cuts or senior care Senate GOP running out of options to stop Moore MORE (R-Utah), panel ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress faces growing health care crisis in Puerto Rico Photos of the Week: Nov. 13-17 Senate panel approves GOP tax plan MORE (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me Two months later: Puerto Rico doesn’t have power, education or economy running again On Capitol Hill, few name names on sexual harassment 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 FromanUS will investigate aluminum imports as national security hazard Overnight 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 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.