The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) and fifty seven liberty organizations have notified Congress that they oppose Fast Track trade authority. Representatives from the organizations are delivering a petition (below) to Congress this week. A House and a Senate bill pushing Fast Track, called the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, was filed on January 9, 2014.
“Americans from across the political spectrum have been clear that we do not want more globalization agreements that outsource our democracy and our constitutional republic to international tribunals,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Fast Track, or so-called Trade Promotion Authority, is a wrongheaded delegation of Congress’ constitutional power over trade and domestic policy to the executive branch. CPA continues to advocate for trade and global governance agreements being deliberated under the regular order of Congress, rather than through steamrolling Fast Track procedures.”
The Fast Track bill, if passed, would give the executive branch tremendous de facto power to legislate via trade negotiations and transfer judicial power to international tribunals. Executive branch officials can agree to provisions that overrule prior acts of Congress in areas of financial services, food and product safety, trade, taxation, product labeling, government procurement and many other domestic policy areas. The same officials can also put in place provisions previously rejected by Congress.
“While the Fast Track bill lays out negotiating priorities and objectives for President Obama, the language is unenforceable, insufficiently different from past Fast Track bills, and Congress never certifies that the President has met those objectives,” said Stumo. ”As a result, the legislative text on objectives is an illusory retention of power by Congress and largely unenforceable.”
Under Fast Track, President Obama would negotiate a foreign agreement in secret, sign the agreement and send it to Congress. The House then has only 45 days for all committees to set aside all other business and consider the bill, only 15 days for floor consideration with not more than 20 hours of debate. The Senate then has only 30 days to handle the bill. Extraordinary provisions prevent amendments, filibuster, cloture and other rules. Further, these treaties are subject to simple majority approval rather than a 2/3rds vote of the Senate as required under Article II of the Constitution.
“Our government should not have to twist the constitution in the process of considering these deals,” said Stumo. ”Our economy needs strong strategic planning to balance trade, increase production and jobs in the U.S. and protect our constitutional framework. Past trade and global governance agreements have reduced Congress’ ability to accomplish these objectives.”
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.
To: Members of the U.S. House and Senate
From: Patriot Organizations
Date: January 13, 2014
Re: Fast Track trade authority (Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014)
We write to demand that you oppose the Obama administration’s TransPacific Partnership global governance agreement (hereinafter referred to as TPP) and Fast Track authority. These initiatives are threats to our constitutional republic and our economy.
The TPP will be transfer large swaths of our sovereignty to international institutions and tribunals. The majority of its text is about global governance rather than trade. Unelected bureaucrats are negotiating away federal authority in areas including financial regulation, copyrights, patents, immigration, energy, food safety, energy policy, labor and government procurement. The TPP can overrule past acts of Congress, install rules that Congress has previously rejected. And the agreement is permanent.
Adjudication of alleged violations will be performed by international tribunals consisting of foreign trade lawyers who will displace the U.S. court system. This pro-globalism agreement has been negotiated in secret. Congress has little or no access to the negotiations and the draft text.
The TPP also infringes upon states’ rights. State and local governments have the constitutional authority to enact rules governing many areas covered by the TPP. But they will no longer have the freedom to do so in the many regulatory areas covered by that agreement. Foreign companies will have the right to sue state and local governments, in those international tribunals, for any rule changes that harm those foreign companies’ profit expectations.
Obama wants to use “Fast Track” trade authority to push this anti-sovereignty agreement. We ask that you oppose Fast Track as well. Using Fast Track, Congress largely surrenders to the President its Article I, Section 8 authority to regulate foreign commerce. President Obama can negotiate and sign this trade and global governance agreement without Congressional oversight, write the implementing legislation, and push it through Congress with limited time, limited debate, and no amendments. This surrender of Congress’ constitutional authority is unique, dangerous and wrong.
We look to you to protect our constitutional republic, our sovereignty, and our economy from the clear and present danger of the TransPacific Partnership. We ask that you oppose it as well as Fast Track trade authority.
|Alabama Legislative Watchdogs||Birmingham||AL|
|Alexandria Tea Party||Alexandria||VA|
|America Don’t Forget||Ocoee||TN|
|Barbour County, Al. Tax Enough Already Party||Eufaula||AL|
|Bear Witness Central||Jacksonville||FL|
|Big Boss Ministries||North Miami||FL|
|Child of GOD||Leesburg||FL|
|Coalition for a Prosperous America||Washington||DC|
|Common Sense TPP of Covington County||Andalusia||AL|
|Concerned American Patriots of Jackson Co., FL||Marianna||FL|
|Eagle Forum of Southeast Wisconsin||Butler||WI|
|East Orlando Tea Party||Altamonte Springs||FL|
|East KY Tea Party||Hazard||KY|
|First Coast Tea Party||Jacksonville||FL|
|Florida Minuteman Org.||Lake Wales||FL|
|Gainesville Tea Party||Gainesville||FL|
|Greenville TEA Party Patriots||Greenville||AL|
|Kitchen Table Patriots||Doylestown||PA|
|Lamar County Tea Party Patriots||Vernon||AL|
|Liberty in Action||Sarasota||FL|
|Martin 9/12 Committee||Stuart||FL|
|Medina Tea Party Patriots||Medina||OH|
|Miami 912 Project||Miami Lakes||FL|
|Nature Coast 912 Groups||Weeki Wachee/Pasco/Citrus/Lakesu||FL|
|North County Conservatives.org||Escondido||CA|
|Northwest Arkansas Citizens for Better Gov’t||Fayetteville||AR|
|People for Liberty||Pittsburgh||PA|
|Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots-Lower Bucks||Feasterville Trevose||PA|
|Pickens County GA Tea Party||Jasper||GA|
|Pinellas Patriots 912||Largo||FL|
|Putnam County Tea Party||Palatka||FL|
|Rainy Day Patriots||Hoover||AL|
|Roanoke Valley Patriots||Littleton||NC|
|Save America Foundation||Clearwater||FL|
|Stand4UT||Salt Lake City||UT|
|SW Louisiana Tea Party||Bell City||LA|
|Take Back Your Power CoMo||Columbia||MO|
|Tampa Tea Party||Tampa||FL|
|Tea Party of East Hillsborough||Lithia||FL|
|Tea Party of South East Tennessee||Cleveland||TN|
|TeaParty Command Center for the State of Florida||Seffner||FL|
|Volusia 912 Patriots, Inc.||Ormond Beach||FL|
|Wetumpka Tea Party||Wetumpka||AL|
|Wythe Co. Tea Party||Speedwell||VA|
|Young Americans for Freedom Chapter||Linden||VA|