Secret TPP Negotiations—And Public Protests—To Be Held in New York City

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EFF.orgThe next round of secret Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship (TPP) nego­ti­a­tions begins this Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 26, and runs through the fol­low­ing week at the Sher­a­ton New York Time Square Hotel in down­town Man­hat­tan. As with many pre­vi­ous TPP meet­ings, the pub­lic will be shut out of talks as nego­tia­tors con­vene behind closed doors to decide bind­ing rules that could impact how our law­mak­ers set dig­i­tal pol­i­cy in the decades to come. Big con­tent indus­try inter­ests have been giv­en priv­i­leged access to nego­ti­at­ing texts and have dri­ven the US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s man­date when it comes to copyright—which is why the TPP car­ries extreme copy­right mea­sures that ignore users’ rights.

Some claim that this could be the final offi­cial round of TPP nego­ti­a­tions. The White House and Con­gres­sion­al law­mak­ers are now hard at work to pass a law to fast track this agree­ment and oth­er secre­tive deals through Con­gress to rat­i­fi­ca­tion. Fast Track, also known as trade pro­mo­tion author­i­ty (TPA) would trans­fer Con­gress’ pow­er over trade pol­i­cy to the Pres­i­dent, by pre­vent­ing them from debat­ing or mod­i­fy­ing the terms of trade deals after inter­na­tion­al nego­ti­a­tions are final­ized. The coun­tries nego­ti­at­ing TPP with the US are will­ing to give in and agree to bad copy­right rules as long as they get the oth­er gains they were promised—things like mar­ket access and low­ered tar­iffs so they can sell their prod­ucts to US con­sumers. But those oth­er coun­tries will not budge with­out a guar­an­tee that the over­whelm­ing pub­lic oppo­si­tion to the agree­ment won’t pre­vent its adop­tion in the Unit­ed States. Fast Track offers that guar­an­tee; that’s one rea­son the White House is now des­per­ate to pass it.

Sev­er­al pub­lic inter­est groups are orga­niz­ing a protest out­side the lux­u­ry Sher­a­ton Hotel this Mon­day, Jan­u­ary 26 at noon. Many of those demon­strat­ing will be there to oppose oth­er pro­vi­sions in the TPP, but we encour­age peo­ple to be there to rep­re­sent all the users around the world who will be impact­ed by this mas­sive agree­men­t’s dra­con­ian policies.

If you are not in the New York area, take action now by sign­ing this peti­tion to Sen. Ron Wyden, call­ing on him to stand up for dig­i­tal rights and oppose any new Fast Track bill. You can also give him your mes­sage direct­ly by phon­ing his office at (202) 224‑5244.

If you have already signed the peti­tion, con­tact your elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives and let them know that you want them to oppose Fast Track for TPP and any oth­er secret deals that put users’ rights at risk.