Obama and congress are under intense corporate pressure to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is NAFTA on steroids. It is yet another trade deal that gives away our sovereignty all while exporting our jobs even more. These deals are terrible. If NAFTA is so goddamn good, why is Mexico's economy still the garbage it is for the bulk of their citizenry? Obama has asked for fast-track to get this passed as fast as possible. Fast Track is basically asking congress to forgoe their duties and hand it over with little to no debate. This deal needs to fail and rot in hell.
Congress, Don't Let Us Down: Oppose the Bill to “Fast Track” TPP
EFF and other public interest groups have sent a letter to lawmakers reiterating our opposition to a “fast track” bill that would restrict Congress ability to have meaningful input into or review trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and others. In particular, we denounce certain “trade objectives” in the bill that encourage a copyright maximalist agenda without upholding fair use rights. Beyond the procedural problems with fast track, the inclusion of such language contradicts an important doctrine in US law that has been crucial to give artists, innovators, students, and the public, the freedom to use, learn from, and build upon existing culture and technology.1
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is likely to call for bipartisan support for his trade agenda, and call for the passage of this fast track bill. US lawmakers should stay skeptical of any claims that “fast track” would increase Congressional participation in trade agreements. Our representatives must exercise their constitutional authority over agreements like TPP to ensure that users' rights are upheld, not ignored.
If passed, the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” would give over to the executive branch much of the exclusive constitutional authority over trade policy that Congress is supposed to exercise. Sponsors of the bill claim that this process “provides greater transparency and gives Congress greater oversight of the Administration’s trade negotiations.” But in fact, fast track does precisely the opposite, ensuring that there's even less transparency and less democratic oversight over trade negotiations, while making it easier for Big Content to impose its wish list of draconian copyright provisions on the US and its trading partners through secretive trade pacts.
Over 550 labor, environmental, and community groups have signed a letter in opposition to the fast track bill. This follows several other letters from both over 170 Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives who have written in opposition to this re-delegation of federal powers.