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Last week, more than 550 groups, representing tens of millions of individual members, signed a letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against a push by President Obama for 'fast track' authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a so-called "free trade" now under negotation between the U.S. and eleven other Pacific rim nations.
The week before that, another 50 groups launched an energized online campaign called StopFastTrack.com in order to kill the TPP agreement—dubbed "NAFTA on steroids"—that they say "threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet."
The extraordinary trade authority, which Congress has refused to grant for 15 of the past 20 years, would suspend normal congressional procedures for consideration of the controversial TPP, which Obama hopes to sign soon. Who supports TPP and fast track? The corporate lobby that worked its butt off to defeat Obama’s re-election.
Already several dozen Republican House members have announced their opposition to new fast track powers for Obama. A conservative grassroots campaign is gearing up against fast track and TPP.
What could unite the A-Z of the Democratic base and conservative grassroots activists? Um, could be the 20 devastating years of damage by the North American Free-Trade Agreement experienced by American workers and communities across the political spectrum
This week Baucus will be confirmed as the new US ambassador to China and Sen. Ron Wyden will take his place. This creates a new risk. Sen. Wyden is a believer in corporate trade agreements. His constituents call him a “Free Traitor.” He has said he did not support the Baucus bill but we understand he may be working on a ‘new and improved’ fast track.