Sign the Letter to Thank Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for Speaking Out Against the Camp-Baucus Bill, and Urge Them to Oppose All Forms of Fast Track
Tell Leaders Pelosi and Reid to Continue to Stand Up for Working Families, and Replace Fast Track with a Democratic Trade Authority Mechanism that Gives Congress the Steering Wheel and an Emergency Brake
The two Democratic leaders in Congress — Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — have both spoken out against the Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill. President Obama wants Fast Track in order to railroad the TPP through Congress.
This is a huge first step. But we need the Democratic leaders to make clear that no form of Fast Track is acceptable. Nixon’s 1970’s Fast Track must be replaced with a new 21st Century trade negotiation and approval system that subjects these enormously impactful agreements to democratic processes.
Please add your name to the letter below. Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach will hand-deliver it to Minority Leader Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to send your thanks, show your support and encourage them to announce their opposition to any form of Fast Track.
We are writing to thank you for announcing your opposition to the Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill. The legislation replicates the broad delegation of Congress’ constitutional authorities that was provided in the 2002 Fast Track and in other past grants of Fast Track that undermines Congress’ ability to have a meaningful role in shaping the contents of trade agreements and selecting trade agreement partners.
As a candidate in 2008, President Obama said: “I will replace Fast Track with a process that includes criteria determining appropriate negotiating partners that includes an analysis of labor and environmental standards as well as the state of civil society in those countries ... I will ensure that Congress plays a strong and informed role in our international economic policy and in any future agreements we pursue and in our efforts to amend existing agreements.” He said: “The current Fast Track process does not mandate that agreements include binding labor and environmental protections nor does it give an adequate role to Congress in the selection and design of agreements. I will work with Congressional leaders to ensure that any new TPA authority fix these basic failings and open up the process to the American people for their participation and scrutiny.”
With most House Democrats and a bloc of Republicans opposing the Camp-Baucus bill, its prospects are dim. This presents an exciting opportunity to launch the overdue discussion about how to replace Nixon’s outdated Fast Track mechanism with a new 21st Century trade negotiating authority that reflects the reality that today’s “trade” agreements set binding policy on Congress and state legislatures on a vast array of non-trade issues.
Given these deals will shape our nation’s domestic policies on healthcare and affordable drugs, energy and climate, food safety, Internet and copyright, patents and innovation, financial regulation and more, Congress and the American public must have a much greater role in determining the U.S. trade agreements’ contents.
Trade agreements have become the main instruments setting the rules of globalization. And the current rules have not worked for most Americans. Until Congress reasserts its constitutional authority over runaway trade negotiators, we will face more of the same damaging trade agreements. Just consider how the Trans-Pacific Partnership expands on the investor protections found in NAFTA that incentivize U.S. job offshoring. Those who will live with the results of these agreements — the American public — need you to create a new trade agreement negotiating and approval process that restores our democratic rights in this era of globalization.
While the first task at hand is to stop the Camp-Baucus bill, the debate on trade authority will not end with that bill’s demise. We are committed to working with you to frame the next round of the debate, as one about how to best replace Fast Track.