TPP Vote Calendar: Obama Administration Hype About a TPP Vote in 2015 Does Not Comport with Fast Track Timelines
By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
TPP proponents are eager for Congress to vote on a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in late 2015. But to do so, given Fast Track’s statutorily-required timeframe of notice periods and pre-vote reports, TPP negotiations – and the TPP text itself – must be completed by the end of July. If notice to Congress of intent to sign the TPP were sent by August 1, a final TPP vote could be held the last week Congress is in session in December.
Assuming the quickest timeline conceivable under the Fast Track rules, and that somehow a required International Trade Commission (ITC) report on TPP impacts could be completed faster than has ever occurred for past pacts*, a TPP vote could take place about four and one half months after Congress is given notice of intent to sign a deal. Thus, negotiations must conclude at the July 28-31 TPP ministerial and a text must be ready for notice of intent to sign by August 1. That text must be publicly posted on August 31. This would allow for a vote the week of December 14. After that, Congress goes on recess and a vote would roll to 2016.
The political costs of an unpopular “yes” vote for the TPP will escalate if voting rolls into the 2016 presidential election year. Already Democratic and GOP presidential candidates have begun attacking the TPP and their public criticism is generating public attention on the pact’s potential threats of job loss and more. A 2016 TPP vote also would increase the risk that voters could punish those who vote “yes” on the TPP during the November 2016 congressional election.