The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Four Senators needed to stop Fast Track

Many trade agreements can be viewed as neither truly beneficial nor complete losses. Occasionally, there are clear winners. In the case of the TPP and related agreements, corporations will gain the most at our expense.

This fight is returning to the Senate, with a vote possibly taking place as early as today. While the entire Massachusetts delegation is against fast track, 61 Senators voted for it last time. We have to stand in opposition to handing our fates to fickle leaders hiding in the shadows!

Now is the time to get your friends in other states to contact their Senators and tell them to oppose fast track, the TPP and all the other “trade” agreements.  If they need convincing, use the arguments below.

Because of the rules of the Senate, all we need is for four Senators to switch their vote.  Since the House bill does not have the Trade Assistance section of the previous Senate bill, we can win this fight.

Here are the Senators who are most likely to switch.  Calls are best, but you can email them from the linked pages. Thanks!

Why we oppose these trade agreements

From the documents that Wikileaks leaked on TransPacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), we know that these trade agreements would:

  • governments would be prevented from using Free Software:
  • impose stronger DRM and “technological protection measure” regimes;
  • make ISPs liable for copyright infringement on their networks;
  • implement a “take it down first, argue later” DMCA-like process for notifying copyright infringements;
  • allow corporations to patent plants and animals;
  • potentially ban you from selling a product you bought abroad.

These trade agreements would put in place or expand Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) that allow corporations to challenge our laws if they at all hinder their present or potential profits. It has already happened in AustraliaCanada, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala.

Recently, Mexico and Canada used the NAFTA ISDS process to penalize the US for meat labeling laws. Laws the House of Representatives voted to scrap instead of fight for.  With TiSA, TPP and TTIP, these challenges will be more frequent and raise corporate power over our democracy to new levels.

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Further information

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