Fast Track to a Bad Deal

On January 9, the Democrat and Republican establishments jointly introduced a bill designed to give Congress's constitutional authority over trade to President Obama. It is officially called TPA (Trade Priorities Act) and is usually referred to as "Fast Track," because it puts any trade bill that Obama negotiates on a "fast track" to passage without the possibility of congressional amendments. When Fast Track was first invented by Secretary of State Cordell Hull during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, it was a great idea. In those days, Congress would normally place protective tariffs into any trade bill in order to give import-competing industries that were located in their districts special advantages. When trade is balanced, exporters lose out whenever tariffs are applied to imports. Roosevelt used Fast Track to negotiate a free trade agreement with Canada which greatly reduced tariffs on both sides of the border, boosting both U.S. exports to Canada and Canadian...(Read Full Article)