On Sunday night President Obama’s attempt to fast track trade authority and a big Asian trade deal suffered a further setback, with an influential Republican senator claiming that the deals will open the floodgates to more immigration and allow more changes to be made to the immigration system by the administration without having to obtain approval from Congress. Jeff Sessions also raised questions about trade deficit surging and whether currency manipulation would be prevented by the agreement.
“The President has circumvented Congress on immigration with serial regularity, but the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) would yield new power to the executive to alter admissions while subtracting congressional checks against those actions,” a critical alert sent from Sessions’ office stated, adding: “The plain language of TPA provides avenues for the administration and its trading partners to facilitate the expanded movement of foreign workers into the US, including visitor visas that are used as worker visas.”
The phrase ‘living agreement’ in the TPP means that changes can be altered once approved by Congress and that other nations can be added in the future without consulting Congress again, Sessions claims. The Center for Immigration Studies director of policy studies, Jessica Vaughan, agrees, warning that Congress should not give up its authority when it comes to writing immigration laws.
Kevin L Kearns of the US Business and Industry Council is also concerned about the agreement, which he describes as “another power grab” by the president to enable the White House to change trade deals at will.