President Obama Asks Congress To Give Up Its Oversight On Secret TPP Agreement
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 23rd 2013
We’ve talked a few times about how the USTR and the administration are asking Congress for “trade promotion authority,” which would effectively let it bypass Congressional oversight of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In fact, in many ways the USTR has been acting as if it already has this. The specifics of “trade promotion authority” or “fast track authority” are a bit down in the weeds, but the short version is that it’s the administration asking Congress to completely abdicate its authority and mandate in overseeing international trade agreements. Basically, it removes the ability of Congress to seek any fixes or amendments to a trade agreement — only allowing them to give a yes or no vote.
This might not be such a big deal if the TPP wasn’t negotiated in near total secrecy. We’ve been told that a final agreement is getting close, but no official text has been released at all. What we know of the IP section is one draft that leaked out from well over a year ago. And, now, we’re going to get a product that will be released to the public with little time for debate and no way to make changes should the public point out how ridiculous and dangerous it is.