A Freer Hand to Promote Free Trade

Jasmine Farrier

in Congressional Ambivalence

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813192628
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135496 | DOI:
A Freer Hand to Promote Free Trade

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This chapter focuses on the institutional developments surrounding the 30-year history of the fast-track trade implementation process that have a similarity to the BRAC commissions and tell an equally revealing story about contemporary separation of powers arrangements. While Congress has agreed to step aside in this way for 35 years, there was an eight year pause on fast track between 1994 and 2002 when these provisions expired after passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade in 1994. These major agreements reignited simmering domestic controversies over the means and ends of trade policy. In 2002, fast track was reinstated for President George W. Bush as part of a post-9/11 legislative moment, and many members of both parties have since turned around on the issue by fighting the implementation of trade deals formed under the renewed processes, such as pacts with Central America, Chile, and, most recently, Vietnam and Peru.

Keywords: fast track; free trade; BRAC commissions; separation of powers; North American Free Trade Agreement; World Trade Organization; General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade; trade policy; George W. Bush

Chapter.  12607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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