Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy [April 27, 2015] [open pdf - 437KB]
"Legislation to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly called fast track, was introduced as the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA- 2015)(H.R. 1890/S. 995) in the Senate and the House on April 16, 2015. The previous grant of authority expired on July 1, 2007, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA-previously known as fast track) expired. TPA is the authority Congress grants to the President to enter into certain reciprocal trade agreements, and to have their implementing bills considered under expedited legislative procedures, provided the President observes certain statutory obligations. TPA defines how Congress has chosen to exercise its constitutional authority over a particular aspect of trade policy, while giving the President added leverage to negotiate trade agreements by effectively assuring U.S. trade partners that final agreements will be given timely and unamended consideration. On July 30, 2013, President Obama first publicly requested that Congress reauthorize TPA and he reiterated his request for TPA in his January 20, 2015, State of the Union address. Legislation to renew TPA was introduced in the 113th Congress (H.R. 3830) (S. 1900), but it was not acted upon."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33743
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html