Tech Companies Urge Senator Wyden to Reject Fast Track and Bring Transparency to TPP
from Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF):
Over 25 leading technology companies have joined a public letter urging Senator Ron Wyden, the newly appointed Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to firmly oppose any form of "fast track" authority for trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Fast Track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, is a mechanism that in practice limits Congressional oversight over U.S. trade policy, and gives the White House sweeping power to negotiate and finalize trade agreements.
The companies call on Senator Wyden, already an outspoken advocate for greater transparency and public participation in TPP negotiations, to uphold his dedication to users and digital rights into his new role leading the Senate Committee which holds considerable influence over Congress' trade agenda.
Signatories to the letter include tech companies like reddit, Automattic (the company behind WordPress), Imgur, DuckDuckGo, CREDO Mobile, BoingBoing, Thoughtworks, Namecheap, and Cheezburger.
In the letter, the companies outline how the technology industry, from entrepreneurs and engineers all the way to consumers, could be harmed by “fast tracked” trade agreements that contain unbalanced copyright and innovation policy frameworks. “These highly secretive, supranational agreements are reported to include provisions that vastly expand on any reasonable definition of ‘trade,’ including provisions that impact patents, copyright, and privacy in ways that constrain legitimate online activity and innovation,” the companies write. “Our industry, and the users that we serve, need to be at the table from the beginning,” which has not been the case with TPP negotiations. Read more here...