Immigration rises as trade deal threat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Immigration rises as trade deal threat

Immigration policy has emerged as a threat from the right to the fragile congressional coalition pushing fast-track authority for pending free-trade deals.

The White House and Republican congressional leaders are both seeking to give trade promotion authority, or TPA, to President Barack Obama, which would allow Congress to vote up or down on a new mega-sized Pacific deal and one with Europe, but not to amend them.

Business leaders and proponents in Congress are pitching the deals as a way to open up overseas markets to U.S. exports — for example, Georgia agricultural products. Fearing depressed wages, organized labor has pulled Democrats including Georgia U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, John Lewis and David Scott away from the president to oppose TPA.

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