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Congress Derails Obama’s Pitch for “Fast Track” Trade Authority

Posted June 12th, 2015 at 12:07 pm (UTC-4)
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Ignore Obama and Vote for Trade-promotion Authority

George Will – The Washington Post

Before presidential politics — the game of getting to 270 electoral votes — completely eclipses governing, there is the urgent task of getting to 217 votes in the House of Representatives to pass trade-promotion authority (TPA). This would guarantee a vote without amendments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Without TPA, any trade agreement will be nibbled to death in Congress by those eager to do organized labor’s bidding.

So, Republicans who oppose TPA are collaborating with those who oppose increasing the velocity and rationality of economic life….

For Democrats devoted to policies of redistribution, economic growth is an afterthought. Only Republicans can make possible the freer trade that can combat the lingering stagnation that is Barack Obama’s painful legacy.

Demonstrators rally for fair trade at the Capitol in Washington,  May 7, 2014.. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Demonstrators rally for fair trade at the Capitol in Washington, May 7, 2014.. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Slam the Door on Fast Track!

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship – Truth Out

Finally! At last! Bipartisan collaboration in Washington – and what a beaut! President Obama, the Republican Party, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, K Street lobbyists and giant multinational companies are all singing “Kumbaya” and working together to shove through Congress the fast-track legislation that will grease the wheels for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

That’s the deal that favors CEOs over workers, profits over the environment and corporate power over the rule of law…

It’s said Obama desperately wants this agreement as part of his “legacy.” So much so, as POLITICO notes, that he is willing to hand “a significant political victory” to the very partisans who have fought tooth and tail the last six years to destroy his administration. Legacy? No, it’s payback time to the big contributors to both parties.

Reps. Denny Heck and Adam Smith Wrongly Oppose Obama’s Trade Ambitions

Blanca Torres – The Seattle Times

U.S. Reps. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, and Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, announced Thursday they will not vote to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals. They join U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, who previously announced his opposition.

This is disappointing coming from lawmakers whose districts benefit greatly from international trade – as does the rest of Washington, the most trade-dependent state in the country….

Trade is big business for Washington. Numerous companies and manufacturers ship goods all over the world from airplanes and apples to specialized medical devices and boats for law enforcement and military. Washington exports ballooned by 40 percent over the last four years, to $90.6 billion in 2014 and trade is related to about 40 percent of jobs here, according to the Washington Council on International Trade.


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