New Fast Track bill - the same as the old, rejected one

April 17, 2015


By Michael Stumo:  The minority staff of the House Ways and Means released a side by side comparison (see PDF) of this week's Fast Track bill with the bill from January 2014. Basically it is more of the same.  Will they never learn?

From CPA’s perspective, the new bill is a failure.  No balanced trade.  Vague/toothless currency language. Nothing new on foreign border taxes. Insufficient language on state owned enterprises.  ISDS/global court system provisions don’t address treaty forum shopping by foreign companies or provide for a rationale as to why the nation’s court systems are not good enough.  Etc.

No analysis as to why past agreements worsened our trade performance, and thus no corrections for past failures.

No increased role for Congress.  No ability to rein in executive branch which does what it wants.  No addressing the fact that they will be merely ratifying past executive negotiations rather than guiding future ones.  No curtailment of excessive designation of negotiating text as “classified” at the whim of the USTR, without a solid national security rationale.

Instead - export opportunity/trade distortion/regulatory harmonization happy talk prevails in this new bill's text.

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