U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, said on Monday he is making headway with his Democrat colleagues on a bill to streamline the passage of free-trade deals through Congress.
"We're making headway," Hatch told reporters. "I have high hopes that we will get there. I chatted with the president (Barack Obama) today. He said it's very important to him and he wants me to get it through."
Hatch has been negotiating with the panel's top Democrat, Ron Wyden, and the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Paul Ryan.
Fast-track legislation is seen as key to sealing a 12-nation Pacific trade pact.
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