In an uncharacteristic bit of Democratic Party in-fighting, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) is loudly fighting back against a massive trade deal being pushed by President Obama because she is worried that one of the trade deal’s provisions could lead to future attacks against the Dodd-Frank Act.
President Obama has recently crisscrossed the country, attempting to gain popular approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves a dozen countries around the Pacific and could impact 40% of U.S. trade, according to a recent report from the Washington Post.
One portion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal involves Congress granting President Obama the authority to “fast track” the authority to negotiate the agreement.
The Senate is due to vote on the “fast track” authority this week. If the Senate grants the fast track authority to the President, Congress would then only hold an up-or-down vote on the TPP once its finalized.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Warren says that the fast track authority could be used by a future (Republican) president to repeal portions of or the entire Dodd-Frank Act.
From the Washington Post:
PLUM LINE: What you’re arguing is that six years of fast track, plus ISDS, could ultimately result in the weakening of financial regulations? You’re not saying ISDS itself would do that?
WARREN: Absolutely right…six years means that whatever the Obama administration has committed to won’t bind the next president. If that president wants to negotiate a trade deal that undercuts Dodd Frank, it will be very hard to stop it.
PLUM LINE: Couldn’t a Republican president simply go straight at Dodd Frank? Would this be any easier than that?
WARREN: Absolutely. Because trade will be fast tracked for six years….A direct run at Dodd Frank potentially takes 60 votes in the U.S. Senate. But doing it through trade authority needs to be done with 51 votes.
PLUM LINE: But wouldn’t that require a direct change to U.S. legislation?
WARREN: It’s possible to punch holes in Dodd Frank without directly repealing it. For example, harmonization of the capital standards and leverage ratios could be adjusted to help the big banks without ever directly contradicting Dodd Frank. But the effects of Dodd Frank would be severely undercut.
Click the link below to see more of Warren's thoughts on TPP and its impact.