The U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is trying to pass a so-called Fast Track or Trade Promotion Authority bill to make possible the ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which would gut environmental, food safety and climate protections. Fast Track would allow the TPP to be ratified on an expedited schedule with little debate, no amendments and a straight up or down vote. This turns the U.S. Constitution upside down -- the founders intended for Congress, not trade bureaucrats indebted to corporate polluters, to regulate trade with foreign nations.
Big Oil and dirty energy companies want to ramrod the TPP deal through Congress using Fast Track, thereby protecting free trade in tar sands oil, coal and liquefied natural gas. Weakening regulations on these polluters is a recipe for climate catastrophe.
Other TPP provisions would protect corporate patents on plants, animals and other life forms, allowing biotech corporations to own our common biological heritage. Biotech giants like Monsanto want to use Fast Track legislation to expedite a TPP deal that will protect trade in genetically modified food and restrict GMO labeling. These corporations know that Fast Track is the only way to force the TPP through Congress.
Fast Track gives hundreds of corporate lobbyists who are “cleared advisors” to the U.S. Trade Representative a greater role in drafting trade agreements than members of Congress. It delegates away Congress’ exclusive constitutional authority to “regulate Commerce with foreign nations.”
Trade policy analyst,
Friends of the Earth