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U.S. Reaches Historic — and Controversial — Trade Pact With 11 Pacific Rim Countries

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries have agreed to an ambitious and controversial trade pact that cuts trade barriers, sets labor and environmental standards and protects multinational corporations’ intellectual property.

In this March 21, 2013 photo, cars for export line up at a quay to be loaded on a freighter in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)In this March 21, 2013 photo, cars for export line up at a quay to be loaded on a freighter in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

The agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership was reached Monday after marathon negotiating sessions in Atlanta through the weekend. Congress will have 90 days to review the agreement and will have to give it an up-or-down vote, no amendments allowed.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the basic agreement as “a far-sighted policy for all participating countries that share the values and try to build a free and fair economic zone.”

The TPP is designed to encourage trade between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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