Despite almost universal condemnation from anyone that hears about it and large, influential organisations like Doctors Without Borders, the Trans Pacific Partnership, a non-debated, corporate lobbied piece of legislation that won’t need to see congressional scrutiny, is being rushed through the US Senate. Just like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and other acts that the internet has defeated before, once again it’s time to step up and cause enough of a ruckus that this act is stopped dead in its tracks.
Like the aforementioned legislation, the TPP is designed to do several things. Some of it involves restricting online freedoms, giving media lobbies larger powers and granting sweeping changes to copyright law that could see life saving medicines restricted in third world countries, further entrenching monpolising companies by giving them much deeper trademark rights and extending them for many more years and even undermining the democratic process, by making it possible for corporations to sue governments without the public being made aware.
It goes even deeper though, as Public Citizen points out. The TPP could also give corporations the right to receive payouts for loss of “future profits,” if law changes would affect their businesses. Enterprises would also gain the rights to buy up land, natural resources and facilities without government review.
Of course though none of this is addressed in the public detailing of the act by the US Senate, which describes it as a job-creating trade agreement, despite the restrictions it would bring and the international fallout.
“The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act will give us the tools we need to move more job-creating trade agreements,” said Senate Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. “This legislation will ensure that the Administration is following the rules and negotiating objectives that Congress has set out. In order to achieve the economic growth and job benefits that trade agreements can bring to the U.S., we must first pass strong, bipartisan TPA legislation.”
Understandably then, many people want this blockaded before it can get to a signing stage. The guys over at FightForTheFuture are looking to have you get in touch with your local government representatives, your congressmen and any other politicians that might be able to slow down and maybe even stop the TPP from being pushed through.
If you’re not sure who your representative is, head to the linked site and put in your zip code. It’ll tell you and give you their contact details.
Should the TPP be signed in, it will not only affect the signatory companies (Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan) but also the rest of the world, as if copyright (specifically US) and trademark law is extended as the TPP wants to do, it will change how available products coming from the country – like medicine – are to the rest of the world, especially poorer ones.
KitGuru Says: While I’m not sure there’s much British readers can do to help, hopefully our US based readers can make a few calls and emails. Fingers crossed this gets squashed as decisively as SOPA and PIPA.