President Barack Obama has signed into law two hard-fought bills giving him greater authority to negotiate international trade deals and providing aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by such pacts.
The measures were politically linked to secure bipartisan support for the trade legislation. They set the stage for the conclusion of a 12-nation Pacific Rim economic pact.
The trade bill gives Congress the right to approve or reject trade agreements, but not change or delay them. Obama defied the wishes of most members of his Democratic Party and frayed relations with organized labor to push the legislation.
The worker assistance was part of a broader trade preferences bill that extends a measure easing trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa.