Tuesday, August 5, 1997   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Get ready for "Fast Track" [Locomotive building steam]!

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" [Train going full steam].

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.

This is Jim Hightower saying . . . Fast Track is a legislative laxative that's bad for the Constitution, because it let's sour NAFTA deals slide right through our system.

"NAFTA is Good for US, Clinton Study Says" by Robert S. Greenberger. Wall Street Journal: July 11, 1997.

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