By Citizens Trade Campaign
The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the Ryan-Hatch Fast Track bill formally dubbed “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.”
This legislation would revive the outdated and unsound 2002 Fast Track “Trade Promotion Authority” mechanism. The same failed Camp-Baucus-Hatch trade authority proposal of last session is at the core of this bill, which would undermine Congress’ ability to have a meaningful role in shaping the contents of trade agreements.
This year’s bill includes several negotiating objectives not found in previous Fast Track iterations. However, the Fast Track process that this legislation would reestablish ensures that these objectives are entirely unenforceable. If this legislation were enacted, the president could sign and enter into a trade agreement before Congress votes on it — whether or not the negotiating objectives have been met. It would allow the executive branch to write legislation, not subject to committee markup, that would implement the pact and be guaranteed House and Senate votes within 90 days, with all amendments forbidden and a maximum of 20 hours of debate, whether or not the agreement met Congress’ negotiating objectives.