Congress Is Poised to Introduce a Bill to Fast Track TPP so It’s Time to Act Now

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EFF.orgThe Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship (TPP) talks are stalling while the White House assures its trad­ing part­ners that this secret trade agree­ment won’t be amend­ed when it comes back to Con­gress for rat­i­fi­ca­tion after the Pres­i­dent signs the deal. That’s why the Exec­u­tive is scram­bling to get its allies in Con­gress to pass Fast Track. If they suc­ceed, the U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive can block remain­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for the exam­i­na­tion of the TPP’s pro­vi­sions by law­mak­ers who could ensure that this secret deal does not con­tain expan­sive copy­right rules that would lock the U.S. into bro­ken copy­right rules that are already in bad need of reform.

The Fast Track bill is like­ly going to be intro­duced as ear­ly as next week—so it’s time to speak out now. Con­gress needs to hear from their con­stituents that we expect them to hold the White House account­able for the TPP’s restric­tive dig­i­tal poli­cies. Unless this opaque, unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic process is fixed, and state offi­cials uphold the inter­ests of users rather than tram­pling our rights, we have no choice but to fight trade deals like the TPP.

You can get in touch with your elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives and call on them to oppose Fast Track trade author­i­ty for the TPP and oth­er secre­tive, anti-user trade deals. We have also cre­at­ed a new tool for Twit­ter users to ask three key con­gres­sion­al lead­ers to come out against Fast Track. They are Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Nan­cy Pelosi, and Rep. Ste­ny Hoy­er. Here’s why we are tar­get­ing these three Con­gress mem­bers in par­tic­u­lar.

Target #1: Sen. Ron Wyden

Sen. Wyden is one of the lead­ing defend­ers of users’ rights and a staunch fight­er for the free and open Inter­net in Con­gress. For the past sev­er­al years, he has been one of the most out­spo­ken law­mak­ers denounc­ing the secre­tive TPP nego­ti­a­tions, and has con­sis­tent­ly raised con­cerns about the agreement’s threat to users. As Rank­ing Mem­ber of the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee, where the Sen­ate bill will be intro­duced, he has a sig­nif­i­cant amount of influ­ence over the out­come of Fast Track. We need to call on him to con­tin­ue to stand with users and fight back against any ver­sion of this bill that does not address crit­i­cal prob­lems in the trade nego­ti­a­tion process.

Target #2: Rep. Nancy Pelosi

House Minor­i­ty Leader, Nan­cy Pelosi, has proven to be an out­spo­ken defend­er of the free and open Inter­net this year, as she was one of the most vocal pro­po­nents to defend net neu­tral­i­ty. How­ev­er, she has unfor­tu­nate­ly been wishy-washy on Fast Track and the TPP. She needs to hear from users that the TPP also puts the Inter­net at risk from oppres­sive reg­u­la­tions. If she were to come out against Fast Track, that would be a strong sig­nal for oth­er House Democ­rats to fol­low her lead.

Target #3: Rep. Steny Hoyer

His vot­ing record for dig­i­tal rights has been pret­ty spot­ty, and so far Rep. Hoy­er has been sup­port­ive of Fast Track. But as House Minor­i­ty Whip, his oppo­si­tion to Fast Track would also be huge­ly influ­en­tial for Democ­rats in the House to come out against it as well.

Let them know that we’re count­ing on them to defend the Inter­net from the White House’s secret, anti-user deals. Once you’re done tweet­ing at them (which you can of course do more than once!), remem­ber to share these actions through your social net­works. We can defeat this mas­sive, anti-user trade deal, but we’re going to need all the help we can get.