What is in this article?:
- China currency bill advances, FTA votes expected
- Uncertain future in House
- A final vote in the Senate on legislation targeting China's intervention in currency exchange markets is now scheduled for Oct. 11.
- The House and the Senate are both scheduled to hold votes on the Colombia, South Korea and Panama FTAs on Oct. 12, one day before South Korean President Lee’s state visit on Oct. 13.
Uncertain future in House
Although the Senate cloture vote indicates the currency bill is likely to pass the Senate, the legislation faces an uncertain future. In the House, Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) has criticized the bill and made it clear he does not want to bring it up.
Approval of three FTAs, which were negotiated during the Bush administration, is also expected to occur this week. The House and the Senate are both scheduled to hold votes on the Colombia, South Korea and Panama FTAs on Oct. 12, one day before South Korean President Lee’s state visit on Oct. 13.
The House will vote on the three FTAs and a bill to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programs on that day.
The House Rules Committee issued a closed rule for all four measures, which allows a separate vote on each measure, but does not allow for any amendments and stipulates that the House will have one hour of debate on the TAA/GSP bill and 90 minutes for each FTA bill.
Barring any objections, an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also will limit debate on the FTAs, allowing votes to happen in a more timely fashion.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which applies to all three trade deals when they come up in the Senate, allows up to 20 hours of debate for each of the trade agreements. The House closed rule is important for the Colombia FTA because it is not covered by TPA and would otherwise be open for amendments on the House floor.
In a related development, the Finance Committee announced it will hold a mark-up of the three FTAs on Oct. 11, at which point it also will consider the nominations of several trade officials, including Ambassador Isi Siddiqui to be USTR’s chief agricultural negotiator.