3 reasons for the Senate to change its mind on trade authority

June 22, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Senate to reconsider its support of granting trade authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Americans for Limited Government strongly urges the Senate to vote against the cloture motion on legislation that would provide President Obama fast track trade authority.  Three things have occurred since the Senate last voted on fast track which should cause any thinking Senator to change from a yes to no vote.

“First there is a great deal information that has come out about the Trans-Pacific Partnership that makes it clear that this agreement needs full and thorough Senate scrutiny.  The TPP is a living agreement subject to change after ratification, additional partners can be added to the TPP without Senate approval, and the TPP sets up a governing structure much like the Common Market — the predecessor to the European Union.  It would be extremely unwise to allow an agreement with such massive national implications to be fast tracked.

“Second, the upcoming Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) that will be fast tracked has explicit immigration language that has been leaked through Wikileaks.  Under fast track, Congress cannot amend any agreement and once fast tracked, no submitted agreement has ever been defeated.  A vote for fast track is a vote for the immigration language in TISA.

“Third, formerly supportive conservative leaders like Senator Jim DeMint, of the Heritage Foundation, have become convinced that the agreements are “Free Trade in Name Only” and have come out against fast track in the past few weeks.

“Just last week, the Australian Finance Minister reports is one week of negotiation away from completion. The illusion that the negotiating objectives contained in fast track language somehow bind Obama when he’s already pretty much done negotiating can no longer be sustained.

“With the concerns over the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there simply is no reason not to tell President Obama to sign and submit it under constitutional rules for treaty ratification, before the Senate grants fast track, and then only by the requisite two-thirds majority.”

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