Source: In These Times
Opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that’s been dubbed “NAFTA on steroids,” made major progress in the House this week, as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle signaled their unwillingness to grant the president authority to “fast-track” the TPP to a Congressional vote. Without fast-track, it’s unlikely that the trade agreement could pass Congress in its current form.
Until now, negotiations on the TPP, a free-trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim economies including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, have operated under the expectation that the Obama administration would be able to secure fast-track authority—a legislative procedure that would limit lawmakers to a simple up-or-down vote on the completed deal, shortening floor debate and prohibiting amendments. The administration, which strongly supports the TPP, has already asked Congress to vote for fast-track.