After a week in which the President dealt out unusually harsh criticism of members of his own party for opposing free trade deals — though these deals, in fact, threaten to undermine U.S. consumer protection laws and hand a lot more power to multinational corporations — the administration's trade agenda failed a crucial test in the Senate yesterday. The proposal to give the President "fast track" authority to negotiate trade deals that would then be brought before Congress for an up-or-down vote (rather than subject to amendments) fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed with debate. Prospects are no brighter in the House, where there is bipartisan opposition.
The vote was an impressive display of solidarity with American consumers and workers, but maneuvering after the vote suggests the battle will continue.
The Times has the story.