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Letter: Congress should reject fast-track for TPP deal

Congress should reject fast-track for TPP deal

President Obama has asked Congress to grant him trade promotion authority – also called fast track – over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, and another called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

Fast-track authority would allow the president to negotiate and finalize the pacts without giving congressional lawmakers any input.

My understanding is that specific provisions of these deals will not be revealed until after lawmakers have already voted on fast track. In addition, if the authority is granted, debate would be very limited, and members of Congress would not be able to amend the agreements; they could only vote yes or no.

In my opinion, such an abdication of congressional involvement ill suits the first branch of government. Furthermore, as Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, has noted, if one compares, side-by-side, Obama’s stated policy goals and just what the TPP would actually do to “basically undermine everything that he has fought for, from lower medicine prices to reregulating Wall Street, to more energy-efficient climate crisis-combating policies” and to the middle-class economics agenda to which he alluded in his last State of the Union address, it seems incomprehensible why, or how, the president could support this deal.

Douglas Aerie