The worst aspect of Fast Track is that it denies Congress the ability to make any changes to the agreement after the President presents it to the Legislative Branch. This means there is no accountability for any negotiating objectives Congress may have given the President. For instance, if the Congress says the President must have a fix for currency manipulation in the agreement, the President does not have to listen. Directives from Congress are only a suggestion under Fast Track, and that is one of the reasons it must be stopped.
There are rumors that this lack of enforceable objectives on currency manipulation may be enough to sink Fast Track in the House of Representatives. This would be a rare display of sanity from our elected representatives in Washington, and would perhaps be a sign that there is hope for U.S. trade policy after all. Passing Fast Track wouldn’t mean that TPP is inevitable, but it would be a big win for the Obama administration and make it much harder to stop job-killing trade agreements from passing. Smart trade policy needs a win, and stopping Fast Track could be the spark that leads to a more prosperous United States.
While this deal has been struck, opposition to actually passing the bill has been growing. Over 150 House Democrats have publicly expressed their opposition to Fast Track Authority, with growing numbers of Republicans continue to join them. Congressional leaders may want this bill to pass, but even President Obama’s own party is standing against him on Fast Track, and they should as Congress should not give up their Constitutional authority to oversee trade to any president.