‘Fast Track’ on Trade

The Washington-based Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment called the Obama administration’s efforts to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement “undemocratic” in a statement on Feb.17. The trade pact between the United States and about a dozen Asian countries is expected to lift tariffs on goods and services on an estimated 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports. Fast-track negotiations “would limit Congress to only 90 days of deliberation for the bill with only 20 hours of debate and no amendment process,” the group said. A letter from the group to the White House and Congress complained that “‘fast track’ is a broken and undemocratic process because it privileges the views of powerful global corporations...while excluding voices of those adversely impacted.” Trade agreements should “receive a fair hearing in the public square, protect people living in poverty, promote the dignity of all workers, and responsibly protect God’s creation,” the letter said.

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