Will GOP Senate Hand Over Fast Track Authority on Trade? Not So Fast.

Progressive concerns that Tuesday’s Republican sweep of the Senate could bring about faster approval of problematic trade deals may be unfounded, said the director of the consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen this week.

When asked on Wednesday about issues on which President Obama and Republicans agree, GOP Senator Mitch McConnell—who is expected to become the next Senate majority leader after his victory in Kentucky this week—identified trade agreements and tax reform as potential areas of overlap.

“The reality is, it’s kind of hard for the Republicans to voluntarily delegate more authority to the guy they’ve been attacking as the imperial president who grabs power that’s not his.”
—Lori Wallach, Public Citizen

“Trade agreements,” McConnell said at a press conference. “The president and I were just talking about that right before I came over here. Most of his party is unenthusiastic about international trade. We think it’s good for America. And so, I’ve got a lot of members who believe that international trade agreements are a winner for America. And the president and I discussed that right before I came over here, and I think he’s interested in moving forward. I said, ‘Send us trade agreements. We’re anxious to take a look at them.'”