HIGHTOWER: Let's Side-Track "Fast Track"

Fast Track is the term Washington insiders use for a legislative ploy to let the President and his Wall Street cronies negotiate job-destroying trade deals, then rush them through congress without allowing our elected representatives to offer even a single amendment to the deals. In other words, Fast Track is another way of saying "Railroaded".Bill Clinton, backed by the Republican leaders of congress and a hosanna chorus of corporate lobbyists, is pushing hard to get new Fast Track authority approved for a whole new round of NAFTA-type scams. They are planning deals throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and . . . who knows, if there's life on Mars, that opens-up a whole new planet of cheap-labor possibilities!The first NAFTA was passed using Fast Track authority -- and you know what that cost us: loss of more than 400,000 US jobs, a raging $39-billion trade deficit with Mexico and the shift of hundreds more US plants south of the border. This is the exact opposite of what they promised. But -- Choo-choo! -- here they come for more.The good news is we can stop them. The vote to re-authorize Fast Track is presently scheduled for September, but many members who approved it last time are no longer in congress, and a majority of today's lawmakers are leaning our way. They'll be lobbied by the Fat Cats, of course, but we alley cats can apply some pressure too. Now's a good time. Lawmakers have taken August off, and most of them are back in their district offices. It's hard for them to turn-down an appointment with the home-folks, so call'em up to set a visit. Then grab them by the short hairs and tell them: "No Fast Track" -- no surrendering of congressional authority on trade deals.Fast Track is a legislative laxative that's bad for the Constitution, because it let's sour NAFTA deals slide right through our system.Source:"NAFTA is Good for U.S., Clinton Study Says" by Robert S. Greenberger. Wall Street Journal: July 11, 1997.


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