Feb. 10, 2015
Dear Liberty Activist,
Congress is considering giving President Barack Obama fast track trade authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Fast track means that Congress would cede its right to amend the trade deal. Instead, it would be granted an up or down vote — even if it needed to be fixed — and that is the primary reason why Congress must say no.
At a time when the President has for all intents and purposes declared war on the constitutional separation of powers, it makes zero sense for Congress to voluntarily weaken its treaty ratification prerogatives. Why not make Obama go through the process under regular order, with amendments allowed?
Obama should have to explain and where necessary defend every word in any treaty he agrees to, with it being held to the highest level of scrutiny. That is Congress' job. It is also their job to amend or defeat any treaty that falls short of being in America's interests.
If Obama produces a good trade deal for America, whether or not there is fast track authority granted him, it can be ratified intact. But it would be foolhardy for Congress to not reserve the right to amend the Trans-Pacific Partnership given the experience of the past six years.
Not giving the President trade promotion authority is not anti- trade. In fact, the United States already exports $861 billion to the trans-Pacific trade partners, accounting for almost 40 percent of the $2.2 trillion of U.S. exports worldwide in 2012.
That includes $48 billion of goods and services to Australia, $559 million to Brunei Darussalam, $354 billion to Canada, $22 billion to Chile, $116 billion to Japan, $15 billion to Malaysia, $243 billion to Mexico, $5.2 billion to New Zealand, $9.4 billion to Peru, $43 billion to Singapore, and $5 billion to Vietnam.
As a result of this continued trade, our economic bonds with these nations are tight.
However, opposition to fast track is a recognition of the need for Congress to exert its constitutional prerogatives so they can play their proper role in the treaty ratification process. Now it is time for Congress to step up and fight for the constitutional separation of powers — not give more executive powers to Obama to negotiate a bad deal for the U.S. economy.
Let's keep fighting!
Americans for Limited Government