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.
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.
There are few policies that show the split between elite opinion and everyone else as clearly as trade policy. On trade we see a remarkable convergence of the leadership of both parties against their base, with the elites firmly behind the leadership against what they view as the ignorance of the masses.
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.