The TPP has been dealt a setback in the US Senate. Skeptical Democrats have argued it would drive down wages and make it impossible for US workers to compete with those in countries with lax labor laws.
Republicans supported Obama's bid for the fast-track trade authority to approve such deals, but Democrats opposed the measure on grounds they believed it failed to include adequate protections for American workers and punish currency manipulation.
"We know the global economy is a rough sea, and Republicans are asking us to pass a trade package that forces the American worker to navigate those waters in a leaky boat," leading Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said.
A procedural vote to allow the bill to proceed to formal debate and an eventual vote by the full Senate chamber failed by a count of 52-45 - short of the 60 votes required under Senate rules.
The Senate bill would have given Obama the authority to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and an upcoming US-Europe trade pact (TTIP) to Congress for an up-or-down vote, and prevented lawmakers from amending any deal.
Note EU-Digest: the EU parliament and US Commission better take good note of what the US Democrats are saying about the TTP presently being negotiated between 12 Pacific Rim countriesand and the US . This in view of the negotiations that are presently going on between the European Union and the US, and which also contains a variety of obstacles, if accepted would have a negative effect on EU health, the environment, agriculture, trade and security.