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Fast track trade authority: A must for U.S. economy?

EconoMeter panel considers Obama request to speed agreements

Roger Showley, U-T SAN DIEGO

Friday, March 20, 2015

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Kelly Cunningham, National University System
Answer: NO

The last time Congress granted the president “fast track” authority to negotiate trade pacts allowed executive branch ability to hammer out deals and present them to Congress for up or down votes with no amendment allowed. This expired in 2007 and has not been renewed. Without this authority, American negotiators are not able to put together good deals because those on the other side of the table know Congress will likely reject whatever is agreed. Such treaties can be negotiated in private but results should be publicly available. Making the negotiations transparent and subject to congressional oversight dispels public skepticism over the pacts.