I’m big on free trade and this is good news.

Fresh off a victory in the Senate, the Bush administration turned to the House in the drive to conclude a free trade agreement it says will promote democracy in Central America while opening new markets to American businesses.

The House vote, expected in July, on the Central America Free Trade Agreement is certain to be close, but supporters expressed new confidence Thursday after a 54-45 vote in the Senate.

The Senate win “was a huge momentum builder,” U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said, noting that only a few weeks ago analysts were saying the agreement was in deep trouble.