The Trade Act of 2002

(Continuation of List of United States federal legislation, 2001-present)

The Trade Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-210, H.R. 3009, 116 Stat. 933, enacted August 6, 2002; 19 U.S.C. §§ 3803–3805; U.S. Trade Promotion Authority Act) granted the President of the United States the authority to negotiate trade deals with other countries and gives Congress the approval to only vote up or down on the agreement, not to amend it. This authority is sometimes called fast track authority, since it is thought to streamline approval of trade agreements. This authority makes it easier to negotiate deals, which engenders both support and opposition, opposition coming from labor and environmental groups.
The last time the President was granted fast track authority was to negotiate the Uruguay Round Agreement of the World Trade Organization. The Uruguay Round was completed just as the fast track authority expired in 1994. The President went without the authority until it was renewed in 2002. The trade promotion authority expired in July 2007.