Obama see trade vote as "big step forward;" says trade deal will open access to markets

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says his trade agenda took "a big step forward" Thursday when it cleared a key Senate hurdle.

The legislation would let Obama negotiate trade deals that Congress can accept or reject, but not change.

Obama says his trade plan is good for American businesses and workers, and contains safeguards to ensure strong labor and environmental standards.

The president says the trade deal is "going to open up access to markets that too often are closed," even as those other countries are selling goods in the United States.

The president spoke during a meeting with his Cabinet.

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