Obama’s Fast-Track Plan Could Lead to Mass Loss of American Jobs

WASHINGTON—Barack Obama’s fast-track plan appears to be in trouble in the Senate. This could boost workers and their allies in campaigns to prevent giving Obama unlimited authority to negotiate free trade pacts that lawmakers can’t change.

 

Fast-track, formally known as “trade promotion authority” (TPA) is made up of three trade pacts: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact with Europe, and a pact covering services including government services. The three pacts being pushed through Congress lack enforceable working protections and, based on previous outcomes of trade agreements, TPP would lead to a mass export of US jobs to low-wage no-rights nations, especially in Asia.

 

Representative Mark Pocan says, “I support fair trade but I cannot support greasing the skids for trade agreements that could end up destroying more American jobs and weakening U.S. environmental protection.”

 

The finance committee is one of two responsible for fast-track laws. Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch, strongly supported fast-track, and put it at the top of his priority list. “Renewal of TPA is the key to success of this agreement,” according to Hatch. However, “there are some key outstanding issues that need to be resolved in TPP. As I have stated in the past, my support for TPA by no means ensures that I will support just any version of TPP that happens to be submitted.”

 

Source: PAI