The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling on Senate Finance Committee Chair Senator Ron Wyden (D-ORE.) to not allow trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be fast tracked and to bring the details of these trade deals into the public eye for further scrutiny.
Treaties like TPP are being written by trade and interest groups who represent corporate interests and are pushed forward in secret by policy makers who are not taking into consideration the rights of citizens in multiple countries.
The letter calls on Senator Wyden to consider the following conditions concerning trade agreements:
– Easy, ongoing access to negotiating texts by all Congress members and their staff with proper security clearance and timely public release of concluded provisions following each round of negotiations;
– Ongoing, up-to-date publication of detailed summaries of the USTR's specific proposals being submitted in negotiations; Regular publication of agendas and transcripts of meetings and of all communications between USTR officials and all stakeholders, including industry groups;
– Mandatory negotiating objectives that balance users' rights with those of private industry, including requirements to enact safeguards for free speech, privacy, and access to knowledge;
– Congressional certification that negotiating objectives have been met before negotiations are concluded with only the pacts that have been so certified qualifying for expedited consideration;
– Congressional approval of trade agreement texts before they can be signed by a president so that Congress explicitly authorizes a president to enter into a pact only after ensuring that an agreement’s contents are acceptable.
If you would like to sign your name to the EFF's letter, you can do so here.