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The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority:
Check out our book on Fast Track's sordid history

Fast Track

An Undemocratic Path to Unfair "Trade"


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Unprecedented Coalition Opposed Fast Track – See letter

Fast Track was an extreme and rarely-used procedure initially created by President Richard Nixon to get around public debate and congressional oversight over corporate-rigged trade policy. Fast Track is how we got into the job-killing, wage-flattening North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Thanks to Fast Track, NAFTA and the WTO included terms that promote the offshoring of U.S. jobs to low-wage countries.

President Obama resorted to asking Congress to give him extreme Fast Track authority to try to railroad into place job-killing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

After dogged, diverse grassroots pressure delivered major blows to Fast Track, proponents used procedural gimmicks to pass Fast Track through Congress by a one-vote margin in June 2015. Anger about Fast Track's underhanded passage helped fuel the unprecedented movement that succeeded in ensuring that there was never a majority in Congress to pass the TPP – thus sealing the deal’s demise. However, Fast Track authority remains in place for six years, and therefore we must be vigilant of attempts to railroad other corporate-rigged deals through Congress.

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