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 McConnellMcConnell: Spending bill will include miners' pension fix Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? Senate names part of Cures bill after Beau Biden 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 HatchSenate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas Mnuchin's former bank comes under scrutiny Trump’s economic team taking shape MORE (R-Utah), panel ranking member Ron WydenRon WydenThis Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks Senate passes college anti-Semitism bill Overnight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape MORE (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanDr. Price’s first 100 days: What to kill and what to keep Medicare looms over Trump-Ryan alliance Trump allies warn: No compromise on immigration 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 FromanWhite House gives up on passing the TPP Froman: Congress can pass the Pacific Rim trade deal US confirms China has ended tax breaks for domestic airplanes 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.