News & Features » News

Derailing the gravy train on trade



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. 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 U.S. jobs, a raging $39 billion trade deficit with Mexico and the shift of hundreds more U.S. 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 lets sour NAFTA deals slide right through our system.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.