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Implications of the 2014 Congressional Elections for US Trade Policy

The November 4, 2014 mid-term elections in the United States increased Congressional support for trade liberalization at a critical time for US trade policy. A new Republican majority in the Senate and an enlarged Republican majority in the House of Representatives likely will offer a more straightforward legislative path to the enactment of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in 2015, which in turn could spur the conclusion and Congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Significant obstacles to completing TPP exist, but enactment of TPA would ease Congressional consideration of the agreement and might aid in securing key concessions from negotiating partners. On the other hand, passage of TPA likely would not have a substantial, direct impact on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) because TTIP negotiations remain in their early stages and are encumbered by multiple contentious issues.

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