Chief U.S. ag trade negotiator Darci Vetter is still hopeful Congress will approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement after this fall’s elections despite increasing anti-trade rhetoric on the campaign trail.

"The opportunity is there. There is time," Vetter said last week at the Feed and Grain Live conference in Altoona. "This is the Obama administration’s highest priority right now."

However, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemingly dashed those hopes, telling a Kentucky Farm Bureau group last week that the Senate will not vote on the trade deal in a lame duck session after the Nov. 8 election.

"The current (TPP) agreement, which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year,"...