Trade Promotion Authority: Now, if Ever!
Like airliners circling an airport in bad weather, three major trade negotiations are being kept up in the air partly by the absence of Trade Promotion Authority, or, Congress' grant of authority to negotiate agreements and consider their results on the basis of expedited "fast track" rules in Congress. The President last night in his State of the Union message gave air traffic control a go-ahead when he endorsed passage of Trade Promotion Authority this year.
Most urgent is the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal pending among 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific rim. TPP is probably the most ambitious trade agreement the US has entered because of the scope of the goods, services, and related issue it covers. An opportunity also awaits in the form of the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would engage all of Europe, as well as the US. And the Trade In Services Agreement would update rules and remove barriers to services trade among 23 countries, including the US and the EU.
In spite of Presidential, and Congressional support, TPA has fervent critics who call for more transparency in the negotiating process, better access to texts, more protections for labor and the environment, and more protection against foreign unfair trade practices.
To discuss these issues our panel brings together three thoroughly experienced participants in the national trade policy debate.
A panel discussion, featuring:
- Doug Goudie, Director, International Government Affairs, Pfizer
- Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO
- Jeffrey Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
- Bob Vastine, Senior Industry and Innovation Fellow, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
- J. Bradford Jensen, Professor, Georgetown University and Senior Policy Scholar, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy