Get PJ Media on your Apple

Lawmakers Eager to Get Secretive Trade Agreement Moving

Obama wants authority to move Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement through with minimal impact from Congress.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

Bio

December 14, 2013 - 11:38 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to reignite momentum on a trade deal with several Pacific Rim nations after it faced major hurdles earlier this year.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) involves 12 countries ranging from Chile to New Zealand and Malaysia. The TPP would link an area with about $28 trillion in annual economic output, making it the largest trade agreement ever signed by the United States.

The agreement hit a major roadblock in Congress last month when a large bipartisan group in Congress expressed concerns over the negotiating process.

The Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus, officially launched in October, represents a counter-attack to the growing tide of anti-TPP sentiment. The four co-chairs of the caucus include two Democrats and two Republicans: Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Charles W. Boustany (R-La.), and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

Two of the co-chairs, Boustany and Reichert, talked this month about the trade agreement at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Both expressed their belief that the TPP would be good for their constituents and for the nation in general.

Boustany and Reichert also seemed optimistic about the chances of getting Congress to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would allow the Obama administration to negotiate the TPP without worrying about Congress making any changes.

Fast-track legislation – also known as Trade Promotion Authority  – is the process by which Congress allows the president to negotiate trade deals and pledges to approve them swiftly without amendments or delays. This empowers the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements with foreign partners without them worrying the deal will be undermined or renegotiated by congressional pressure.

Free trade agreements are notoriously difficult to get through Congress. For example, the U.S. and South Korea signed a trade agreement in 2007. But after a series of revisions to make the agreement more palatable, the deal did not come into effect until March 2012.

President Obama is seeking TPA, which officially ended in 2007, to promote the TPP and another trade agreement currently in the early stages of negotiations with the European Union.

Reichert, a former SWAT team commander, said supporters of the TPP will have to be more assertive to get the deal through Congress.

“You got to know when to negotiate and when to kick the door in,” he said. “And you know, when it comes to trade, we might have to kick the door in somewhere along the line here.”

The TPP has faced criticism due to its secretive process. The draft texts of the treaty are not publicly available, and even members of Congress do not have access to all documents.

Many industry advisers, however, have access to the drafts. These advisers represent several business sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry groups, the record industry, and firms like Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and General Electric.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Let's make this Real simple for Reichert. If the people, through their elected representatives cannot have the treaty language presented to them for consideration and subsequently viewed by the public for inspection and debate he can take his TPP and the treaty and use it for personal hygeine.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds like another "You have to pass the bill, to find out what's in the bill" situation.
After the BarryCare, and Frank'nDodd, I would think that Members would know better (or are they so gullible because they are Members of Congress?)?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This empowers the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements with foreign partners without them worrying the deal will be undermined or renegotiated by congressional pressure."

Sure, do away with 'congressional pressure' altogether. Work to undermine your own reason for existence. Give the president even more unfettered, uncriticized authority - just what that office needs. Why, before long, we can have one co-equal branch of government - the executive branch and then we can have nirvana.

Congress should insist on doing what it was established to do - to reign in a power-hungry executive and approve a fair-and-balanced judiciary.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I simply got paid $9000 operating off my laptop computer this month. And if you're thinking that it is cool, and you also want to earn money then you are on the right way just go to this site for amazing details..........> W­W­W.b­l­u­e­4­8­.C­­­O­­­­­­M
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my neighbor's sister-in-law makes $60/hr on the computer. She has been laid off for six months but last month her payment was $16262 just working on the computer for a few hours. see here now>>>>>>>>> ​http://ow.ly/qjkbU
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not just no! HE@# NO! Time to reign in this damn tyrant! Time for us to organize!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my friend's sister-in-law makes $60 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her check was $13733 just working on the computer for a few hours. . .......:> =============== http://xurl.es/svps9 ====================
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my father in law recently got an almost new red Toyota Avalon Hybrid only from part-time off a computer... Visit Website >>>>> http://ow.ly/qjkbU
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
☝ ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝☝ ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝
my buddy's step-aunt makes $82/hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her pay check was $13120 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at this web-site..... http://www.jobs53.com
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's make this Real simple for Reichert. If the people, through their elected representatives cannot have the treaty language presented to them for consideration and subsequently viewed by the public for inspection and debate he can take his TPP and the treaty and use it for personal hygeine.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Brilliant analysis. The Treaty may not be a bad thing, dumping more power to a delusional, self aggrandized idiot that thinks he is God, strike that , Allah is a bad thing. The name of the game, as prescribed by our forefathers was all of this "stuff' should see the light of day and allow the serfs errr, citizens to have input. We are so screwed...
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds like another "You have to pass the bill, to find out what's in the bill" situation.
After the BarryCare, and Frank'nDodd, I would think that Members would know better (or are they so gullible because they are Members of Congress?)?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
NO !
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This empowers the executive branch to negotiate trade agreements with foreign partners without them worrying the deal will be undermined or renegotiated by congressional pressure."

Sure, do away with 'congressional pressure' altogether. Work to undermine your own reason for existence. Give the president even more unfettered, uncriticized authority - just what that office needs. Why, before long, we can have one co-equal branch of government - the executive branch and then we can have nirvana.

Congress should insist on doing what it was established to do - to reign in a power-hungry executive and approve a fair-and-balanced judiciary.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All

One Trackback to “Lawmakers Eager to Get Secretive Trade Agreement Moving”