Dr. Charles Hankla talks trade promotion authority (TPA)
“Four lessons for US and world as president finally gets what he wants: a free hand on trade”
After a long, bruising fight, the US Senate finally passed a bill to give the president the trade promotion authority (TPA, aka fast track) that he has been seeking for months. The House already approved the measure last week, so it seems very likely that President Obama will be signing TPA into law very soon.
Trade promotion authority would bind Congress to take an up-or-down vote, without amendments, on trade agreements placed before it by the president. Congress has periodically tied its hands in this way since 1974 and has used other methods of delegation to the executive for more than 80 years.
The significance of TPA today is that it would give President Obama the authority he needs to complete the negotiations for two very significant trade agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 countries, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.
Dr. Charles Hankla
Associate Professor of Political Science
Georgia State University