WASHINGTON — After weeks of procedural bickering, House and Senate lawmakers launched talks Tuesday over how to shape a controversial and wide-ranging trade bill that’s spiced with textile and apparel import breaks.

However, despite its first meeting being in public, most of the talks are slated to be held behind closed doors. It’s a strategy of the chairman of the negotiating panel, House Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas (R., Calif.), who wants to quickly reconcile major differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation.

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