Spin Cycle

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Much has yet to play out over a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But so far, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is among 26 House members who signed a March 6 letter to President Barack Obama supporting "swift action" on legislation allowing a fast track toward a pact.

Under fast-track terms, Congress decides on a negotiated deal in a no-amendment, up-or-down vote. The letter says lawmakers would need to be "closely consulted" during talks.

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This puts freshman Zeldin on an early potential collision course with organized labor. Union activists oppose fast-track and condemn agreements such as NAFTA as corporate deals that export U.S. jobs.

Zeldin said March 10: "If Trade Promotion Authority [fast-track] legislation is introduced, then my vote will be determined based on the actual substance . . .  I will not support or oppose trade legislation that hasn't yet been introduced."

Which doesn't mean he wouldn't urge its being introduced.