by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and every now and then even the occasional Congress critter comes down on the right side of an issue…as long as it affords them some political leverage, that is.
Such is the case in the current fight over “Trade Promotion Authority,” an obscure piece of legislation that is now at the heart of the debate over Washington’s ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track negotiating authority” is an authority granted by Congress that allows the President to present trade agreements to Congress for approval or rejection, and stops the treaty from being filibustered or amended. This authority is needed because Congress is in fact given all authority to regulate “commerce with foreign nations” and “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.” The idea (supposedly) is to give the President “added leverage to negotiate trade agreements by effectively assuring U.S. trade partners that final agreements will be given timely and unamended consideration.”
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