After TPP deal announced, the real fight begins
Posted : Oct 15th 2015 3:33pm by The Oslo Times
News Serial Number : TOT50
Washington: On 5 October 2015, trade officials announced that they reached a final deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Their announcement came after a drawn out round of negotiation in Atlanta, Georgia, which was mainly held up around disagreements over medicine patent rules and tariffs over autos and dairy.
We have no reason to believe that the TPP has improved much at all from the last leaked version released in August, and we won't know until the U.S. Trade Representative releases the text. [Ed's note: see 9 October update The Final Leaked TPP Text is All That We Feared.] So as long as it contains a retroactive 20-year copyright term extension, bans on circumventing DRM, massively disproportionate punishments for copyright infringement, and rules that criminalize investigative journalists and whistleblowers, we have to do everything we can to stop this agreement from getting signed, ratified, and put into force.
The fact that close to 800 million Internet users' rights to free expression, privacy, and access to knowledge online hinged upon the outcome of squabbles over trade rules on cars and milk is precisely why digital policy consideration do not belong in trade agreements. Hollywood, other major publishers and even big tech companies have taken advantage of this secretive, corporate-captured process to pass rules that they could not otherwise get away with in an open, participatory process. The Fast Track trade bill, which passed in the U.S. this summer, was a critical piece in the White House's toolkit to getting this terrible deal passed through Congress with little oversight. And yet there's an upside to that bill - which is that it may succeed in mucking up the TPP end game.
Despite all of Fast Track's faults, it imposed on the White House a timeline for it to finalize, sign, and ratify agreements that uses this expedited trade approval mechanism. This includes a mandate that at a minimum, a 90-day notice period must be given before the President signs the agreement. Thirty days after that notice the text must be posted publicly online - so there's still about a month when the U.S. trade officials can claim to have a final text and give notice, but not really have a text. President Obama will give a notice to Congress in order to get the clock running on these Fast Track requirements. If so, the White House will be required by law to publish the final text publicly, online in 30 days. A failure to do so could be a violation of this Fast Track-mandated timeline. (More detailed analysis on this timeline can be found on Public Citizen's website.)
As we continue to fight this toxic, corporate-captured trade deal, we need to remember this fact: laws made in secret, with no public oversight or input, are illegitimate. If we're to defend one of the fundamental pillars of modern government, that law should transparently reflect the will of the people, we need to fight back against an agreement that so flagrantly disregards the democratic process.
We will soon see what's actually in this agreement. At long last, the White House won't be able to hide behind the secrecy. And as long as there remains any threat to the Internet and our rights online, EFF, alongside a massive coalition of public interest organizations, will be mobilizing to kill this agreement dead once and for all.
In Nepal, India’s intervention sours celebrations of a new constitution
Ben Carson's narrow view of Islam is widely shared
Apple is showing anti-choice tendencies in app store
Doctor Who: everything we know about the new series
Everest review – Jake Gyllenhaal treks up to the summit and back without much of a view
The Oslo Times Strongly Condemns the attack on our journalist in...
More and more journalists are being killed or kidnapped by states, this disturbing trend of impunity against...
Foreign Interference can ruin a nation, Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai Tell's The Oslo Times
Foreign Interference can ruin a nation, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai Tells The Oslo Times...
Stop this atrocity against innocent civilians !!!
German Authorities probe Islamic extremist link to the bombing of the Borussia Dortmund football team's bus
China wants stability in the Korean Peninsula : Chinese President Xi Jinping
Italy experiences surge in number of refugee arrivals
Fire in French refugee camp injures atleast 10
World Health Day: Foundation offers free medical treatment to Ex- servicemen
Qatar comes under scrutiny for mistreatment of migrant workers
Aung San Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing of Rohingya community
UN calls emergency meeting after possible Chemical attack in Syria
ADL calls on Sweden to protect the Jewish community in the country
Over 58 killed and scores injured in suspected chemical attack in Syria
US President Trump expresses his condolence to victims of St. Petersburg Metro attack
A blast has gone off inside St Petersburg Metro 10 casualties reported
A blast has gone off inside St Petersburg Metro casualties reported
US President Trump claims US will solve N.Korea nuclear threat with or without China
Assaults on asylum seekers doubles in Austria:Interior Ministry
Paraguay: Protesters set Congress ablaze
North Korea and Malaysia end diplomatic row
Iran compares US to an armed robber entering others home
EC President Tusk set to issue Brexit guidelines
NATO-Russia substantial meeting on topics of common concern: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg