The U.S. Senate advanced the Fast Track bill today May 14) in a rushed vote following a slew of concessions made to swing Democrats who had voted to block it earlier this week. The setback on Tuesday could have forced proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and other secretive, anti-user trade agreements to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new bill. Unfortunately, Senate leaders were able to get around this impasse within 48 hours by agreeing to let Democrats vote on some other trade-enforcement measures first before holding the vote on Fast Track.
Now the Senate will go on to debate and vote on the bill, likely within the coming week—essentially putting this legislation on its own fast track to congressional approval. We have little confidence that the Senate would improve the bill enough to ever remedy the nontransparent, corporate-dominated process of trade negotiations. This is why we need to turn our attention to representatives. [Continue reading]