An Introduction to Fast Track
The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Three major questions:
 What
is Fast Track?
 Why should I care?
 Why does this matter now?
What is Fast Track?
The process the federal government
currently uses to negotiate and approve
international trade agreements.
The Fast Track process means
More NAFTA, More WTO
NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, preferred trade
relations with China all passed under Fast
 U.S. trade negotiators are actively trying to
expand NAFTA to South America and Asia
 U.S. trade negotiators are trying to
massively expand the scope of the WTO to
cover public services and building trades
The Fast Track process means
The Export of U.S. Jobs
Oregon has already lost
68,000 jobs due to
outsourcing and foreign
 Job losses have hit a wide
range of sectors
 The millions of jobs lost
across the U.S. are just a
drop in the bucket if NAFTA
and the WTO expand as
The Fast Track process means
Forced Privatization
Plans to expand the WTO
would require massive
privatization of
government services
–Education, health care,
transportation, public works
and more
–Almost any service a
private company was
willing to do would be at
The Fast Track process means
Threats to Prevailing Wages
Plans to expand the
WTO would make
prevailing wage
requirements, project
labor agreements and
“Best Value”
ordinances WTOillegal
The Fast Track process means
Environmental Rollbacks
NAFTA and the WTO have
already been used to
challenge environmental
 Plans to expand NAFTA to
South America and Asia
would increase “rip & ship”
exploitation of the world’s
most biodiverse areas
The Fast Track process means
Attacks on Local Democracy
NAFTA and the WTO have already been
used to force deregulation in a wide range
of sectors
 Under plans to expand the WTO, taxpayer
subsidies for a wide range of public
services could become WTO-illegal
The Fast Track process means
Decreased Food Security
This August, the
United States became a
net importer of food
 Since the early 1990s,
more than 72,000
family farms have
The Fast Track process means
Increased Poverty Abroad
Millions of farmers have lost
their livelihoods due to
imports from the U.S. under
 Patent rules under the WTO
have reduced people’s access
to medicines and enabled
companies to claim patents
on indigenous knowledge
How is this connected
to Fast Track?
“Our ability to … continue to advance the trade
agenda that we’ve had in the past is going to depend
upon getting [Fast Track] extended.”
-- Vice President Dick Cheney, 2/14/07
The Fast Track process means
A Lack of Transparency
Fast Track eliminates
normal Congressional
committee review and
mark-up of trade policy
The Fast Track process means
Undue Corporate Influence
Approximately 500
corporate lobbyists are
given official “Trade
Advisor” status
 They have access to
negotiators and can even
propose policy language
The Fast Track process means
Positive “Objectives” Get Ignored
Instead of mandatory
requirements, Fast
Track includes weak
objectives” that trade
negotiators are free to
The Fast Track process means
No Improvements Allowed
 Under
Fast Track, there is no way
for Congress to fix the most
obvious problems with trade
The Fast Track process means
Debate Is Strictly Limited
 Under
Fast Track, trade policies come
to the floor for a vote automatically –
so the Speaker of the House cannot
block them
 The time for floor debate is strictly
limited – making filibusters impossible
in the Senate
The Fast Track Process
Fast Track creates trade agreements that are:
–Shrouded in secrecy
–Accountable only to corporate lobbyists
–Impossible to amend and very difficult to block
Without Fast Track the free
trade agenda would not be
A transparent process would draw more
attention to the labor, environmental and
human rights issues in trade agreements
 Fair Trade champions in Congress could
offer amendments to bad trade proposals
 Champions could filibuster bad bills when
When we talk about Fast Track,
we’re not just talking about
We’re talking about jobs, the
environment, human rights and
Why discuss Fast Track now?
Fast Track expires in July
– Congress is currently
debating whether to extend
Fast Track or to seek out a
better process
This issue is being decided
Oregon Plays a Major Role
Oregon’s elected officials will play a major
role in the Fast Track debate
Sens. Wyden and Smith on key committee
–Only state with two Senators on it
Blumenauer just joined key House
committee and subcommittee
Most of Oregon’s delegation seen as “swing
votes” on Fast Track
We’re at a Crossroads
What happens in 2007
will impact the
country’s trade
policies for years to
For more information:
Arthur Stamoulis
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
(503) 736-9777
Ask to sign up for our e-newsletter and how your
organization can join our statewide campaign.

An Introduction to Fast Track