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Pelosi heads trade-oriented trip to Asia

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is leading a congressional delegation to several Asian nations, including two that are part of a controversial trade agreement the Obama administration is negotiating. 
The trip includes stops in Cambodia, Myanmar, Korea, Vietnam and Japan, the latter two of which are among the dozen nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
“We arrive at an important moment for the United States’ relationship with these countries, and find ourselves presented with fresh opportunities and familiar challenges in the region,” Pelosi said in a statement Saturday. 
{mosads}“Members are particularly interested in gaining further understanding of how the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that is currently being negotiated will impact the region’s markets and economies,” Pelosi added. 
The Obama administration hopes to secure a deal by this spring but has faced pushback from many House Democrats, especially over President Obama’s bid for “fast-track” powers. Lawmakers have pushed forward on crafting trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation to streamline passage of any deals. 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to address Congress in April. His speech will likely also center on economic partnership between the U.S. and Japan.
In addition to trade, Pelosi noted her trip will focus on security cooperation and human rights, especially for women, workers and religious minorities. 
Pelosi arrives in Cambodia on Saturday, along with Democratic Reps. Sander Levin (Mich.), Charlie Rangel (N.Y.) and Mike Thompson (Calif.), who all sit on the Ways and Means Committee, the primary panel responsible for international trade policy.
Other lawmakers on the trip include Democratic Reps. Doris Matsui (Calif.), Dan Kildee (Mi.), Mark Takai (Hawaii), Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), as well as with Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.). 
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