Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) defended the fast-track trade authority deal in an appearance on Fox Business earlier this week, saying Congress would have the ability to vote down a bad deal negotiated by President Obama.
The fast-track trade authority would give President Obama the ability to negotiate trade deals without Congressional amendments. The most recent president to request fast track authority was President Bill Clinton, more than 15 years ago when he passed NAFTA, causing major manufacturing job losses in America.
In Lankford’s TV appearance, Lou Dobbs asks him how many times Congress has voted down a trade bill in the past.
Lankford replied that he doesn’t know.
The answer, according to a previous report by the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, is zero. In fact, zero fast-tracked trade bills have been defeated in 40 years.
The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch reports:
“The original Fast Track was cooked up by Nixon, served up again by Clinton to pass the NAFTA and WTO agreements, and stirred up again in 2000 to jam China free trade through Congress.”
“That all worked out well, didn’t it? The United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs in the NAFTA/WTO era, and our trade deficit with China is now one of the largest in history.”
Democrats postponed the Colombia, Panama and South Korea trade agreement for five years, but it eventually passed in 2011. Through the five-year stand off, Democrats did get modifications to the agreements once Obama renegotiated the deal.
D.J. Jordan, spokesman for Lankford, tells Breitbart News, “Senator Lankford is still undecided on his final trade vote and is working with leadership to include his priorities. However, Mr. Lankford feels that without trade promotion authority, the American people, through Congress, would not have a say during trade negotiations with other Countries. Whether we like it or not, the President has the Constitutional authority to negotiate trade deals. Congress has disapproved of and altered provisions of trade pacts before – TPA allows the American people to have the ability to possibly do it again.”
Senate Democrats blocked the deal Tuesday, but by Wednesday afternoon came to an agreement with Senate leaders.
The Senate plans to move forward with the bill as early as Thursday.