Lawmakers Put Trade Deals on the Fast Track

Despite growing concerns


Lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation to put congressional backing of trade deals on a fast track, including language aimed at discouraging trading partners from using their currencies to gain a competitive advantage.

The legislation—known formally as "trade promotion authority," which means Congress approves trade pacts on an up-or-down vote without amending them—would apply to trade agreements for the next four years. Its most immediate implications would be for a pan-Pacific trade pact that U.S. negotiators hope to finish early this year.

The legislation was released by top House and Senate lawmakers despite increasingly vocal opposition on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers in both parties are concerned that Congress will get cut out of the negotiations if they agree to put coming trade pacts on a fast track.