Outside editorial: 'Fast-track' process is essential

Posted: Monday, June 04, 2007

At the end of next month, a law streamlining the process for approval of international trade deals will expire. Congress should renew it quickly.

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Approval would allow the next president, regardless of party, to continue prying open international markets.

Continued progress on trade is in America's long-term best interests. We are the world's largest exporter. Our economy benefits from expanding foreign markets, and consumers benefit from the lower prices and increased choices provided by trade.

Under the trade-promotion authority law - formerly called "fast-track" - trade deals presented to Congress must be approved or rejected within a certain period of time, without amendment. As a practical matter, this is essential for serious negotiations.

Otherwise, our trading partners cannot be assured that commitments made during talks won't be yanked away by lawmakers, who represent local or regional constituencies rather than the entire country.

Congress should seize the moment and renew trade-promotion authority.

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