Looks like the House Republican leadership is getting cold feet about passing Fast Track on a largely partisan vote before the election. From Politico (paywall):
Trade was absent from the regular memo House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent Republicans Friday to cover the month’s legislative agenda and the GOP’s priorities. That’s despite the prediction from Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) that House Republicans could pass a fast-track trade promotion authority bill “with a largely partisan vote” right now — and another sign that action won’t come this summer, with GOP leaders content to wait until Senate Democrats are willing to move a bill too.
So even the Republicans don’t want to take the political hit for undermining their own oversight responsibilities and passing a hugely unpopular bill before the Democrats in the Senate stick their toes in the pool, too.
Meanwhile, contrary to what we were promised by the White House when Korea Free Trade passed, the US trade deficit with Korea is ballooning:
Two years after the implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), government data reveal that the Obama administration’s promises that the pact would expand U.S. exports and create U.S. jobs are exactly opposite of the actual outcomes: a downfall in U.S. exports to Korea, rising imports and a surge in the U.S. trade deficit with Korea. Using the administration’s export-to-job ratio, the estimated drop in net U.S. exports to Korea in the FTA’s first two years represents the loss of more than 46,600 U.S. jobs.
But what the Chamber wants the Chamber gets, so even if Obama can’t whip up enthusiasm among the Democrats this summer, everyone will conveniently ignore the failures of KORUS when TPP Fast Track resurface as a lame duck issue.
Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license