♠ Posted by Emmanuel in Trade at 6/27/2015 01:30:00 AM
|Fast-track's passage was more or less bought.|
And so it's happened with the passage of fast-track authority. With no further votes to win--he is in his second and last term as US president, Obama has pushed for this authority enabling him to conclude trade deals abroad--the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Asia and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Europe--and have them voted on an up-or-down basis in the US congress without modification.
What accounts for the relatively easy passage of fast-track authority--after a few temporary hiccups? Simple: pro-trade contributions to politicians far outstrip anti-trade ones:
The political maneuvering and opinions on the trade partnership remain complex. But the money flowing to senators from interested groups has been much more one-sided. Industries, such as banks, insurance companies, utilities and many more, that back the bill in its current form have donated $218.4 million to current senators since October 2008, according to money in politics researcher MapLight. That's about nine times more than the $23.2 million contributed by groups that oppose it.Seen from the perspective of campaign finance contributions, we should have known that the anti-trade set never really stood a chance. Money talks, that's all.
"As far as business, this is the most important vote that will be taken this year," said Anthony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, who studies campaign finance. "The business community for the most part has been united on TPA, so you might expect a large disparity."