Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is threatening to unravel a compromise he earlier blessed to amend provisions on human trafficking in the newly enacted fast-track law, but whether doing so would have any impact on congressional consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now seems unclear.
[Reposted from Inside US Trade | July 13, 2015]
The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) law currently disqualifies any trade deal from fast track if it involves a country on the State Department's “Tier 3” black list of nations failing to address human trafficking, which last year included Malaysia, a TPP party. The compromise -- contained in a still-pending customs bill -- would amend TPA to allow State to submit a waiver if the country has made progress toward addressing these failings.
But Menendez told reporters on July 10 he would push senators in a conference on the customs bill with the House to fight against that amendment if the State Department upgrades Malaysia to the “Tier 2 Watch List,” as informed sources have said it is set to do in the coming days.
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