Last night, in his State of the Union address, President Obama signaled his support for trade promotion authority, commonly called “Fast Track,” for trade deals. While it may have sounded appealing and reasonable in his speech, Fast Track turns out to be quite problematic in practice. Once Fast Track authority is granted, Congress is allowed only limited debate on pending trade deals and is unable to offer improvements through amendments. That means it’s practically impossible for workers and consumers to have a voice on trade policies that may hurt them and their communities in the future – exactly as the corporate lobbyists negotiating these deals in private intended!
Fast Track wouldn’t allow adequate public scrutiny of significant trade deals and how they will affect American jobs, labor rights, the environment, food safety and other important issues prior to authorization. In other words, Fast Track would grant Congress license to expedite secretly negotiated trade policies written by the 1% for the 1%.
Corporate lobbyists are convinced they can trick this new Congress into welcoming Fast Track. Those of us who care about democracy and transparency need to ensure dangerous Fast Track legislation doesn’t move forward.
Will you take two minutes to call your representative to vote NO on Fast Track? Call now at 1-888-804-8311. Here’s a call script to help you out:
Hi, as a concerned [STATE] constituent, I’m calling to urge you to vote against Fast Track. Please don’t give up your responsibility to represent me when it comes to trade policy. Thank you.
Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, drafted by special interests in the backrooms of power, should be subject to vigorous democratic debate. “Fast Track” limits Congress’ ability to oppose specific provisions within trade agreements that would never pass on their own. We know from the record of failed trade deals like NAFTA that these provisions have a devastating impact on jobs, wages and communities. It’s time to learn a lesson from the millions of jobs lost because of trade deals passed under Fast Track authority.
Americans deserve a fair process that gives Congress the opportunity to influence trade deals and to send bad trade deals back to the negotiating table for improvement. If you agree, join with Jobs With Justice and groups across the country who are calling on Congress to say NO to Fast Track. Call your representative by dialing 1-888-804-8311 TODAY.