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Baffling Trade Talks Explained

Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, is supposed to give Congress a chance to give instructions to U.S. negotiators, who then work, often for years, to hammer out the best possible deal with other nations that trade with the United States. Under TPA, Congress retains the responsibility to approve or reject a signed deal, but cannot amend the agreement.

Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a proposed deal among 12 Pacific nations, including the United States. Trade officials say this agreement is nearing completion, but some difficult issues remain. Trade deal supporters say having TPA in place would make it easier to get a deal done between the United States and hard-bargaining trading partners.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a proposed deal between the United States and the European Union. These talks are said to be at a relatively early stage.

Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA, is a program intended to help workers displaced by foreign trade get the training they need to find new jobs.