Press Release Global

Public Knowledge Urges Congress to Abandon Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority

January 27, 2015 , ,

Today, Public Knowledge joins the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, the Internet Archive, and more than 7,000 internet users in urging Congress to oppose a new version of trade promotion authority, commonly called Fast Track, that overlooks critical guarantees of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.

In a letter to Senator Wyden (D-OR), Public Knowledge recommends tactics for improving these areas, including:

  • Easy, ongoing access to negotiating texts by all Congress members and their staff​
  • Regular publication of agendas and transcripts of meetings
  • Mandatory negotiating objectives that balance users' rights with those of private industry, including requirements to enact safeguards for free speech and privacy
  • Congressional approval of trade agreement texts before they can be signed by a president, enabling Congress to explicitly authorize a president to enter into a pact only after ensuring that an agreement’s contents are acceptable

The following can be attributed to Carolina Rossini, Vice President for International Policy of Public Knowledge:

“The digital rights norms set in the 21st century agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), will directly impact billions of people. At this point they’ve had no say in the drafting of these agreements, and that’s unacceptable.

“We’ve learned from previous leaks and conversations with policy makers that at least three chapters (the intellectual property chapter, the services chapter, and the e-commerce chapter) of the TPP could impact our consumer and online rights. We urge Congress to avoid the mistake of authorizing Fast Track, which could risk these rights.”

You may read our blog for more information. You may also review the complete letter here.