WASHINGTON, DC—Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and George Miller (D-CA) released the following statement today on the proposal by Senator Max Baucus and Rep. Dave Camp to grant the Administration outdated “Fast Track” authority. Last November DeLauro, Slaughter and Miller spearheaded a lettersigned by 151 Democrats opposing the use of fast-track authority that abdicates Congress’s authority over trade matters.
Fast Track procedures would allow the President to sign a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade agreements before Congress votes to approve them even though the Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over trade. The process would also guarantee the pacts could come to the floor without giving Members of Congress the opportunity to amend them despite the fact these agreements will include binding obligations that touch upon a wide swath of non-trade policy matters under the authority of Congress.
“For too long, bad trade deals have allowed corporations to ship good American jobs overseas, and wages, benefits, workplace protections and quality of life have all declined as a result,” DeLauro, Miller and Slaughter said in a joint statement. “That is why there is strong bipartisan opposition to enabling the Executive Branch to ram through far-reaching, secretly negotiated trade deals like the TPP that extend well beyond traditional trade matters. At the core of the Baucus-Camp bill is the same Fast Track mechanism that failed us from 2002-2007.
“Our constituents did not send us to Washington to ship their jobs overseas, and Congress will not be a rubber stamp for another flawed trade deal that will hang the middle class out to dry. Instead of pursuing the same failed trade policies we should support American workers by making the necessary investments to compete in today’s global economy.”