Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 3 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 5 (10 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   11 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

A "Fast Track" to Less Democracy and More Economic Dislocation

By       Message John Nichols     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/12/14

Author 29155
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)
- Advertisement -

Source: The Nation


- Advertisement -

U.S. Capitol
(Image by CNN)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

The framers of the Constitution were wise to  include Congress  in the process of framing and approving trade agreements made by presidents. That authority to provide advice and consent should, the wisest legislators have always argued, be zealously guarded.

Unfortunately, in recent decades, Congress has frequently surrendered its authority when it comes to the shaping of trade agreements. By granting so-called "fast-track authority" to the White House, Congress opts itself out of the process at the critical stage when an agreement is being struck and retains only the ability to say "yes" or "no" to a done deal.

The result has been a framing of US trade agreements that is great for multinational corporations but lousy for workers, communities and the environment. Instead of benefitting the great mass of people in the United States and countries with which it trades, deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the permanent normalization of trade relations agreement with China de-emphasize worker rights, human rights, environmental and democracy concerns and clear the way for a race to the bottom.

Candidate Barack Obama recognized this. In 2008, he told Pennsylvania labor activists...

- Advertisement -
"The current Fast Track process does not mandate that agreements include binding labor and environmental protections nor does it give an adequate role to Congress in the selection and design of agreements. I will work with Congressional leaders to ensure that any new TPA authority fix these basic failings and open up the process to the American people for their participation and scrutiny."

That reference to opening up the process to the American people is key. When members of the House and Senate are engaged with the negotiation process, they can bring the concerns of citizens -- not just those of corporations with powerful lobbyists and connections -- to the fore. That's how representative democracy is supposed to work, and this is especially vital when it comes to debates about economic policy.

Click Here to Read Whole Article

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Paul Ryan? Seriously?

Scott Walker's Austerity Agenda Yields 'Worst Job Losses in US'

The Koch Brothers, ALEC and the Savage Assault on Democracy

The Deafening Silence of the Republican Field in the Wake of the Planned Parenthood Shooting

How Socialists Built America

Bernie Sanders: "I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States"