GATT . . . ON THE SLOW TRACK

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Desperate to eke out domestic support for a new worldwide trade pact, the Clinton administration withdrew its request for "fast-track" negotiating authority. The move would have forced Congress to approve or deny a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade without amendments and within a specified time. The process is considered crucial to preventing complex trade treaties from being picked apart by special interests: NAFTA, for instance, had been negotiated under the auspices of this process. What caused the Clinton flip-flop? Criticisms from groups representing consumers, as well as complaints from conservatives.