- File Size: 1848 KB
- Print Length: 143 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Public Citizen, Inc. (April 9, 2013)
- Publication Date: April 9, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CIGJJJ2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,230,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority Kindle Edition
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The means for this historic shift of power is a legal process called Fast Track. Under Fast Track, the Congress gives the President a special set of rules by which it considers trade treaties that are negotiated in secret. Indeed, Members of Congress are excluded from even reading draft texts of these pacts.
Under Fast Track, the President writes the legislation that implements these agreements. Congress then is lobbied by special interests to enact legislation that requires that Congress accept the Administration's draft legislation and make no amendments, take the bills to the floor for a vote within 40 working days, allow only 10 hours for opponents to make their case, and deny the Senate their historic right to filibuster.
Because of these one-sided rules, the Administration, which has been unable to get much domestic legislation, is now taking much of the substance of those same bills and redefining them as "trade-related" and it now is asking that these measures be part of its fast track bill. Because of the legislative complexity of trade laws, most Members of Congress think that they are dealing with trade matters even as they are being snookered. For example, 24 of the 28 chapters in something called the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) the Administrations new trade bill, are a Trojan Horse to enact bills Congress would otherwise reject.
Lori Wallach, a Harvard-educated lawyer, is one of the nation's foremost trade experts. In this book, she traces the history of the trade negotiating relationship between Congress and the Presidency from 1789 and the First U.S. Congress to the present. Her's is an impressive work and certainly is now the definitive book on Fast Track.
She writes very well and this book is a fast read with full documentation. For anyone who wishes to understand how Presidents since Jimmy Carter have been able to enact trade agreements that have led to trillions of dollars of cumulative deficits and wiped out more than one-third of the U.S. industrial base since 2000, this book is must reading.
What amazes me is that Congress seems unable to grasp what is happening and how they are being duped.