Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Congress To Bush: No Fast-Track For You!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 3, 2007

Hey, at least one really good thing happened this week:

US President George W. Bush lost his special trade power at midnight Saturday as opposition Democrats flexed their new grip on Congress and refused White House appeals to renew it.

Democrats, who wrested control of Congress from Republicans in January, were eager to reclaim the constitutional trade authority and set their own stamp on trade policy.

With the expiration of the nearly five-year-old Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), known as “fast-track,” the United States sets a new, Democrat-steered course on trade at a time when the Doha Round of global trade talks is near collapse.

Hours before Bush’s fast track authority expired at midnight, US and South Korean negotiators on Saturday inked a trade deal — the biggest since the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But congressional support for the agreement looked slim.

[…]

The end of TPA also highlighted a waning appetite for free trade among Americans in the face of a burgeoning trade deficit. Critics blame a swelling multi-billion-dollar trade gap with China and others for the loss of thousands of US manufacturing jobs.

Democratic lawmakers hammered home Friday their newfound clout.

“Our legislative priorities do not include the renewal of fast-track authority,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats said in a statement.

The House Democrats said they had a plan to improve US trade policy, while at the same time addressing increased economic insecurity felt by US families.

Among the steps to be taken is the introduction soon of legislation to address the growing US trade imbalance with China and strengthen overall enforcement of US trade agreements and US trade laws.

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