The Senate yesterday reached an agreement on the process for considering a set of trade bills, which would ultimately allow the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act 2015 (“TPA bill”) to proceed to debate and amendment on the Senate floor. On Tuesday, a vote to invoke cloture for the TPA bill failed to pass after Republican leaders refused to move a package of other trade bills, including a customs enforcement bill, along with the TPA bill.
Earlier this afternoon, the Senate passed two of the bills. The first would renew the Generalized System of Preferences and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the other, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, includes measures to address the evasion of antidumping and countervailing duty orders and to improve and strengthen the trade remedy laws, among other important provisions.
The second attempt at a cloture vote for the TPA bill and a bill to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance passed today after a 2:00 PM vote. If the Senate next passes a vote on motion to proceed, scheduled for 10:00 PM tonight, debate and amendments to those bills will begin.