Trade Promotion Authority (Fast-Track Authority for Trade Agreements): Background and Developments in the 107th Congress [Updated July 26, 2002] [open pdf - 70KB]
"One of the major trade issues in the 107th Congress is whether or not Congress approves trade promotion authority (formerly called fast-track authority) for the President to negotiate trade agreements with expedited procedures for implementing legislation. Under this authority, Congress agrees to consider legislation to implement the trade agreements (usually nontariff trade agreements) under a procedure with mandatory deadlines, no amendment, and limited debate. The President is required to consult with congressional committees during negotiation and notify Congress before entering into an agreement. The President was granted this authority almost continuously from 1974 to 1994, but the authority lapsed and has not been renewed. A major issue has been the role of labor and the environment as objectives in trade agreements. Differences have been largely along party lines. […] According to the press reports on July 26, 2002, conferees reached agreement on a conference report late July 25. It is possible that the House might vote on the conference report on July 25 or 26, and that the Senate might vote during the week of July 29. For more information on topics covered in the conference report, see the following CRS [Congressional Research Service] products: CRS Report 97-817 (agriculture); CRS Report RL31450 (Andean trade preferences);CRS Report RS21078 (trade adjustment assistance); CRS Report RL31178 (labor issues); CRS Report RL31192 (expedited procedures); and CRS Report 97-389 (Generalized System of Preferences). On June 19, 2002, the House Rules Committee reported out a rule (H.Res. 450) recommended by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Thomas for consideration of the Senate-passed TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] bill (H.R. 3009). The House approved H.Res. 450 on June 26 by a vote of 216-215. On May 23, 2002, the Senate passed comprehensive trade bill H.R. 3009 by a 66-30 vote. Title XXI of H.R. 3009 includes TPA provisions similar, but not identical, to the House-approved TPA provisions. The House approved TPA bill H.R. 3005 along party lines by a vote of 215-214, on December 6, 2001."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10084
U.S. Department of State: http://fpc.state.gov/