Major Win as U.S. Senate Blocks TPP Fast Track Bill

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EFF.orgOppo­nents of sprawl­ing and secre­tive inter­na­tion­al agree­ments won a sig­nif­i­cant vic­to­ry today when U.S. Sen­a­tors vot­ed to block the advance­ment of its Fast Track trade bill. The leg­is­la­tion would have allowed mas­sive unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic trade deals like the Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship (TPP) and the Trans-atlantic Trade and Invest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP) to be rushed through to rat­i­fi­ca­tion, and legit­imized the non­trans­par­ent and cor­po­rate-dom­i­nat­ed nego­ti­a­tions propos­ing restric­tive dig­i­tal reg­u­la­tions that threat­en the Inter­net and users’ rights.

EFF is just one of sev­er­al hun­dred orga­ni­za­tions orga­niz­ing to stop Fast Track for TPP and TTIP, and our mem­bers alone sent tens of thou­sands of emails, phone calls, and tweets to law­mak­ers to come out against this leg­is­la­tion. TPP pro­po­nents need­ed 60 votes to pro­ceed with a debate on Fast Track and came up short by only eight. That sin­gle-dig­it short­fall shows why it was so cru­cial that we all flood­ed our rep­re­sen­ta­tives with mes­sages that Inter­net reg­u­la­tions do not belong in these back­room deals. Your actions were cru­cial to today’s win.

Today is not the end of the Fast Track fight. Despite the huge blow to their efforts, TPP and TTIP pro­po­nents will not back down eas­i­ly. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has already blast­ed his mail­ing lists to try and win more sup­port for the next big push to pass the bill. It’s like­ly a new ver­sion would still fall far short of address­ing the secre­cy of nego­ti­a­tions. But we can come away from this news empow­ered and ener­gized because it’s a clear sign that we’re suc­ceed­ing at con­vinc­ing Con­gress to come out against these inter­na­tion­al cor­po­rate deals.