In 1997, after nearly a decade of public education and grassroots organizing, the US Congress rejected a request by President Clinton for a ‘fast track’ trade authority. It was the first time the elite consensus in favour of ‘free trade’ had been defeated in the Congress in decades. The uniquely undemocratic fast track process
was essential in securing congressional approval of the Uruguay Round of GATT and the establishment of the WTO in 1994 and the NAFTA in 1993. Clinton particularly needs a ‘fast track’ to facilitate the further expansion of both NAFTA and GATT.