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Campaigns Trans Pacific Partnership Harry Reid: Fast Track Free Trade Bill Goes Nowhere
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 19:56

Harry Reid: Fast Track Free Trade Bill Goes Nowhere

Written by  Michael McAuliff | Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- The fast track trade bill introduced in the Senate last week will go nowhere anytime soon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee and President Barack Obama's pick to be his next ambassador to China, offered the legislation last week, surprising many of his colleagues.

Baucus' bill, which would reauthorize 2002's Trade Promotional Authority, would essentially give the White House the power to present Congress with trade agreements that lawmakers could not amend. The fast track bill would ease the way for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal that opponents contend would undermine labor, environmental and other protections.

But if those opponents were worried the fast-track measure might advance, Reid was emphatic in saying it would not -- at least for now.

Asked if he told Baucus that Reid would make time on the floor of the U.S. Senate to debate the measure, Reid said "No," four times.

"There's a lot of controversy on that, and I'm going to see how that plays out with my caucus and the Senate.," Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Indeed, many Democrats are so unhappy with the current draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they are willing to kill it even though it is a key element of Obama's ambitious pivot toward Asia.

Original article on Huffington Post

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“I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”

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