The newly leaked “Intellectual Property” chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement confirms our worst fears: Big Content companies are pushing extreme copyright provisions in a secret trade deal that would put restrictive controls on the Internet. While Hollywood has had easy access to view and comment on draft texts—so it can get the provisions it wants—our own lawmakers have been mostly left out.
But a coming law threatens to make this undemocratic process even worse.
Lawmakers in Congress are just about to introduce a bill to hand over their own constitutional authority to debate and modify trade law. It’s called Fast Track, or Trade Promotion Authority. It creates special rules that empower the White House to negotiate and sign trade agreements without Congressional oversight. Lawmakers won’t be able to analyze and change their provisions, and have only 90 days for an up or down, Yes or No vote to ratify the entire treaty. That means Internet and copyright provisions, buried in omnibus treaties, will get almost no oversight.
Tell your Rep to stand up for your digital rights and preserve our constitutional checks and balances in government.
The United States Trade Rep is in the midst of negotiating two major trade agreements: the TPP and theTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the EU-U.S. trade agreement. Both TPP and TTIP are multinational trade deals that will carry copyright and digital privacy provisions that threaten millions of users’ rights. Trade agreements carry these harmful provisions because the US Trade Rep has negotiated them with no credible public consultation. Instead, these agreements uphold the one-sided concerns of corporate interests who have little concern for how these policies will impact the Internet and our digital rights.