On April 16, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced a bill to give the President “fast track” authority for trade negotiations. Fast track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), gives the President, instead of Congress, the power to negotiate trade deals and present those deals to Congress for a mere up-or-down vote within 90 days. This leaves little space for public debate, hearings or amendments addressing a trade agreement’s provisions.
The following can be attributed to Carolina Rossini, Vice President of International Policy at Public Knowledge:
“As we feared, the current language proposed for TPA does little to protect an open Internet or promote a balanced copyright system. It also creates the dangerous possibility of allowing private companies to sue countries for their efforts to ensure access to knowledge or develop access to technology, through long standing and appropriate exceptions and limitations to intellectual property law. The proposal could result in numerous chilling effects that would prejudice development, innovation, and economic growth.
“This 113-page bill was introduced despite public interest organizations reaching out to guard against these problems. We remain deeply concerned about the various problems present in this draft and their effect on the future.”
You may view our blog for more information on “Why ‘Fast Track’ is a Bad Idea.”
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