“Fast Track” is the process that gives the executive branch the authority to negotiate and write trade agreements without consulting legislators on either the state or federal level.
Today’s trade agreements set rules that implicate a range of domestic policies at the state and local level. Fast Track ignores the United States’ longstanding tradition of federalism by denying state and local officials to have even the cursory role that is provided to Congress. Fast Track drastically undermines state and local officials’ authority and policy space. In June 2007, the previous grant of Fast Track expired.
When the debate arises again under the new presidential administration, state and local legislators will have the opportunity to voice their concerns and replace this outdated process with a more democratic and accountable mechanism that requires states give their prior informed consent before being bound to the terms of trade deals.