'Fast track' trade deals get benched

President Bush speaks at the International Trade Center

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The president's trade negotiating power known as "fast-track authority" expires tomorrow. It allows him to craft international trade agreements on his own, and limits Congress to only an up-or-down vote.

Critics of unfettered global trade are happy to see it go away. Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson: With "fast track" on its way out, Congress will regain a voice in global trade agreements. Not good, says Matt Slaughter, who teaches international economics at Dartmouth.

Matt Slaughter: Other countries are much less likely to want to enter in and negotiate in good faith with the U.S., knowing that after a deal is closed with the U.S. trade representative that it can still be reopened and altered by members of Congress.

Sen. Sherrod Brown: That's a myth.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, along with many small business and labor groups, blames the sweeping authority for hastening the flow of jobs overseas.

Brown: All of us who oppose fast track want trade. We want more of it. We just want trade with a different set of rules.

To address currency manipulation, for example. And better protect workers' rights and the environment. Congress has no plan to renew the soon-to-be defunct fast-track authority. Instead, it will soon be grappling with renewed responsibility.

I'm Elizabeth Wynne Johnson for Marketplace.

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