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Durbin says compromise could put trade proposals back on fast track

Office of Sen. Durbin

The day after Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked a proposal to give the president fast-track trade authority, a compromise has apparently been reached. This in turn would clear the way for a new Asian pact, the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said the Senate is scheduled to take up the first part of an apparent compromise Thursday. 

At issue are provisions Democrats say must be considered before they’ll allow the main trade bill to get a vote.  Those provisions include protections for workers, the environment and language banning child labor and currency manipulation by foreign governments – especially China.

Republicans balked at the demands saying they weren’t part of the deal. 

But, Durbin says it appears leaders have reached a “procedural agreement” on how to take up those separate issues. That process he says will reach into next week.

“There are some parts of it which will not be amendable, other parts which will be amendable.  I think largely, the Democratic caucus thinks it’s a fair outcome.

“I think ultimately, this is going to end up on fast-track. The way I count votes it should pass,” he said.