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Fast Track Trade Authority

Fast Track Authority is the essential tool for railroading trade agreements that undermine the public interest for the benefit of corporate interests through Congress. When Congress grants the president Fast Track Authority, the United States Trade Representative can negotiate trade deals with no obligation to consider Congress' views on what countries we should and should not enter into free trade agreements with or the terms of trade agreements. The president can then send legislation to Congress to implement the already fully negotiated trade deal. In contrast to any other legislation, under Fast Track Congress is prohibited from in any way amending the legislation. Bills cannot be held up in committee. Floor debate is strictly limited to 20 consecutive hours in each house -- for House members this means they have only 88 seconds per member! Floor votes are required within 90 days in the Senate and 60 days in the House -- giving elected officials and the public limit time to carefully study these massive agreements that address fair more than simply trade. Fast Track was used to pass disastrous trade deals including NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, Peru FTA, Colombia FTA, Panama FTA, and the Korea FTA.

Fast Track Authority expired in 2007, but Congress renewed it in 2015 at President Obama's requet in order to faciliate passage of three more trade deals that attack jobs, the environment, our health, and democracy on behalf of megacorporations and the super-rich -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). It's now critical for us to hold members of Congress accountable for their Fast Track votes and to demand that they vote NO on TPP!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

1. Find out who represents you in Congress and how to contact them here.

2. Find out how your Senators voted and how your US Representative voted (A No/Nay vote is good, whereas a yes/aye vote is bad.)

3. Call and email your Senators and US Representative. Express your thanks if they voted against Fast Track and your deep disappointment if they voted for it. Let them know that you will remember their vote when they're next up for reelection. Urge them publicly commit to voting against the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- to keep up the good work if they voted against Fast Track and to redeem themselves if they voted for it.

Activist Resources

How to Lobby House Tea Party Caucus Members vs. Fast Track

Books

The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Authority

Factsheets

Public Citizen: Intro to Fast Track (PDF)

Coalition for a Prosperous America: Fast Track Trade Authority: Usurping the Constitution

Citizens Trade Campaign: “Fast Track” Enables Bad Public Policy

Citizens Trade Campaign Factsheet: Fast Track and the TPP (PDF)

Sierra Club: Fast track trade legislation will harm our environment

Public Citizen: There Is No Acceptable “Version” of Fast Track

Stop Fast Track to Trans-Pacific Partnership Countries’ Persecution of Christians

Letters

2013 Freshman House Democrats Letter vs. Fast Track to Ways and Means Raking Member Levin

Letter by 151 House Democrats vs. Fast Track Text * About the Signatories

More Than 400 Civil Society Groups Write Congress on TPP and Fast Track

Conservative Groups' Letter Against Fast Track (1/13/15)

Patriot Organizations to Congress: Re: Fast Track trade authority/Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Constitution (3/11/14)

Letter by 550 Organizations to Senator Wyden vs. Fast Track (9/10/14)

6 House Moderate Republicans vs. Fast Track

22 House Conservative Republicans vs. Fast Track (11/12/13)

Bruce Fein Letter to Rep. Walter Jones: Constitutional Infirmity in Fast Track Authority (7/13)

Ron Paul Letter on Fast Track to Rep. Walter Jones (7/13)

News Articles

WND: Rand Paul warns of Obama 'fast track' to global trade zone

News Releases

Americans for Limited Government: Conservatives oppose fast track trade authority for Obama (1/13/15)

THE COALITION FOR A PROSPEROUS AMERICA AND LIBERTY GROUPS PETITION CONGRESS AGAINST FAST TRACK

Nationwide, Bipartisan Survey Finds Strong Voter Opposition to Fast Track Authority for Trade Deals Such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (1/29/14)

Opinion Articles

Former Rep. Allen West: No fast track for Obama’s next power grab

Stop fast-track authority from removing the voice of the 100 percent by Sister Simone Campbell (The Hill, 2/6/15)

Websites

Public Citizen: Fast Track - Presidential Trade Negotiating Authority

Citizens Trade Campaign: Fast Track/Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)

Portland Alliance for Democracy: President Obama Calls for Fast Track Authority

Stop Fast Track Now

NoFastTrack.com

AFL-CIO Fast Track Page