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Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Renewal: Core Labor Standards Issues: A Brief Overview

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Publication Date: June 2007

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22608

Topic: Trade (Free trade and protection)

Abstract:

This report is a brief overview of key issues addressed in CRS Report RL33864, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Renewal: Core Labor Standards Issues. Trade promotion authority (TPA), formerly known as "fast-track" authority, is scheduled to expire July 1, 2007. With it will expire the President's authority to negotiate trade agreements that Congress will then consider without amendment and with limited debate. For the 110th Congress, a likely issue in this debate is whether to include enforceable core labor standards as a principal negotiating objective in trade agreements.

Accordingly, this report (1) identifies key labor provisions in the current TPA law and how they have translated into free trade agreements negotiated under it; (2) presents some legislative options, and summarizes arguments for and against listing enforceable core labor standards as a principal negotiating objective; and (3) looks at possible outcomes and implications of the legislative options. This report will be updated as events warrant.