The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up a second vote for an important Pacific trade bill this week, but even if it fails, President Barack Obama still has several options for making his long-planned agreement a reality.
On Friday, the House voted down Trade Adjustment Assistance, one part of a legislative package that would grant Obama so-called fast-track authority on international trade agreements. That authority—which experts say is necessary for getting a Pacific trade deal off the ground—was tied to the TAA bill, and fell into limbo on Friday.
The TAA bill would continue a program that helps workers whose jobs have been hurt by international trade agreements. Democrats, who have historically been the champions of the program, did not rally to support it this time, openly defying Obama in order to stymie his trade agenda. The House (with the help of Republicans) then proceeded to vote in favor of giving the president fast-track authority—a ballot that meant little without TAA's passage.