U.S. top trade official to brief House Democrats on trade

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2015 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will brief Democrats in the House of Representatives on trade issues at a regular caucus meeting on Tuesday, a person familiar with the planning of the meeting said, while staff have been invited to a separate meeting at the White House.

The person said Froman was invited to give a short briefing as part of the administration's regular outreach to lawmakers on the 2015 trade agenda, which includes an ambitious Pacific trade pact and legislation to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress.

The caucus meeting normally runs from 0900 ET (1400 GMT) until about 1000 ET (1500 GMT).

An administration official said Hill aides are expected to attend a meeting at the White House on Tuesday morning, also as part of the administration’s ongoing outreach to Congress on trade.

Bipartisan talks are continuing on the final form of the bill, which would allow Congress to set negotiating objectives for trade deals in exchange for a yes-or-no vote, without amendments.

But it faces opposition from some Democrats worried about the impact of free trade deals on jobs at home, and some conservative Republicans who do not want to cede the White House any extra authority.

(Reporting by Krista Hughes and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Andrea Ricci)