Trade Promotion Authority (Fast-Track Authority for Trade Agreements): Background and Developments in the 107th Congress [Updated April 10, 2002] [open pdf - 0B]
"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. […] In a speech on April 4, the President called for the Senate to bring TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] legislation to the floor by April 22. Days later, Senate Majority Leader Daschle said that the Senate would not meet that deadline but might consider the bill before the Memorial Day recess. In an address on February 12, 2002, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus said that trade adjustment assistance would be considered in the Senate together with fast-track (TPA), Andean trade preferences, and the Generalized System of Preferences. On December 18, 2001, the Senate Finance Committee ordered H.R. 3005 to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. On December 12, the Committee had marked up the bill and had approved it subject to further amendment on an 18-3 vote. 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/