Thanks to a 20-year push to avoid making the NAFTA mistake twice, there is now a progressive coalition capable of tossing fast track and corporate-giveaway trade deals into the fiery depths of a congressional volcano. The House of Representatives could very well be the Trans-Pacific Partnership's Mount Doom.
The issue in Iowa is not trade or no trade, as some apologists for Fast Track try to argue. The issue is what kind of ground rules do we want so that we can evaluate trade deals after 20 years of corporate trade agreements that mostly are meant to protect the investment profits of multinational corporations.
President Obama and the Republican Senators know what they are doing. They are handing gifts to the business lobbies out of sight of the American people, and attacking the opponents of fast track as anti-trade or ignorant, when in fact the opponents are merely pro-public interest. If the President and the Republicans believe these draft agreements are so good, and therefore merit fast track, let them make the agreements public, so that the public could say a resounding NO to ISDS and other threats to the common interest hidden within the draft agreements.
This is not our parents' trade bill. It is not about providing fair trade -- which we all support. Fast track is about pushing through the TPP, TTIP and future trade agreements that would massively increase the power of big corporations and affect the daily lives of Americans. The impacts go beyond job loss -- as serious as that is.