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Abstract

Fast track procedures have been key institutional mechanisms for U.S. trade policy making for nearly three decades. In April 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives made a small change to rules for considering the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that significantly undermined fast track. However, these actions are really the culmination of the erosion of the utility of fast track in managing U.S. trade policy in the context of the challenges brought by increased openness in the global economy. Those challenges were laid bare with the first major bilateral agreement considered under fast track rules, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in the late 1980s.