The National Education Association (NEA) sent a letter to the Hill (PDF) this month urging Congress to let Fast Track go, citing key concerns about new U.S. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) offers that would further commodify higher education. Some choice excerpts from the letter:
NEA strongly believes that education is a basic right... Subjecting higher education to WTO jurisdiction, which current proposals do, would place at risk a multitude of important higher education policies, such as subsidies, scholarships, and loans... We do not need WTO trade tribunals second-guessing U.S. lawmakers and regulators in closed trade tribunals.
To subject higher education to WTO jurisdiction without a thorough review by relevant policymakers within state and federal governments would be a serious error with devastating consequences. It is important to note that once signed, the binding terms of the GATS make it prohibitively difficult to "take back" sectors from WTO jurisdiction.
Case in point the U.S. has decided to "take back" gambling from our WTO commitments, but Antigua is now demanding $3.4 billion in compensation for maintaining our gambling laws. Who's footing that bill?