Congress enacted fast track in the Trade Act of 1974. Pursuant to that grant of authority, Congress then enacted implementing legislation for the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, the United States-Israel Free Trade Area, the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). The authority then expired in 1994.
Presidential candidate George W. Bush made fast track an integral part of his campaign platform in 2000. In May, 2001, as president he made a key speech about the critical importance of free trade at the annual Council of the Americas in New York, founded by David Rockefeller and other senior US businessmen in 1965. Subsequently, the Council played an integral role in the implementtion and securing of TPA through Congress.
At 3:30 am on July 27, 2002, the House passed the Trade Act of 2002 narrowly by a 215 to 212 vote with 190 Republicans and 27 Democrats making up the majority. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 64 to 34 on August 1, 2002.
Under the second period of fast-track authority, Congress enacted implementing legislation for the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, and the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement. Various other agreements may come to Congress under fast track, notably: the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (Peru ratified on 28 June 2006), the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (President Bush notified Congress of his intent to ratify this agreement on 24 August 2006), a potential agreement with South Korea (the fourth round of talks is scheduled for Oct. 23-27), a potential agreement with Malaysia (the first round of talks were held in June 2006), and the US-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (on which negotiations have been on hold since January 2006).
The authority will cover implementing bills with respect to trade agreements entered into before July 1, 2007. (.) The authority expired on July 1, 2007, without being renewed by Congress. Nonetheless, the authority will be available for Congressional consideration of free trade agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia, and Korea, all of which the United States signed before the deadline.