Free Trade Agreements: Braking through the Barrier

Finally. It looks like Congress will actually be moving to approve the three pending FTAs after it returns from the summer recess according to a recent report by Politico.

Apparently the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA) will be voted on separately from the FTAs.

Months of bipartisan discussions “have provided a path forward in the Senate after we return for passage of the bipartisan compromise on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, followed by passage of the three FTAs,” Reid said in a statement.

For quite some time, CEI has been critical of Congress and the White House’s failure to support the long standing FTAs without the inclusion of TAA. While it’s good to see that TAA won’t be tied directly to any one FTA, it’s disappointing to note that the approval of TAA has essentially become a pre-condition to their endorsement. As CEI has mentioned several times before, free trade agreements should be voted up or down based upon their own merits.