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Senate leader opposes Obama on quick trade deals

January 29, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate says he opposes President Barack Obama’s proposal for legislation letting Congress vote quick approval of trade deals with other countries.

Sen. Harry Reid spoke Wednesday. A day earlier, Obama used his State of the Union address to urge lawmakers to approve such a measure, which would prevent lawmakers from amending treaties.

The president says increasing trade with Europe and Asia will boost sales of U.S. products and protect American jobs.

Reid told reporters he opposes so-called fast-track legislation and that the White House knows it. Reid said lawmakers should not push this now, a comment that suggests the measure will go nowhere soon.

Many Democrats join with labor unions in opposing lowered trade barriers, which they worry will cost jobs due to increased competition.

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