Today, EFF joined a broad coalition of other public interest groups at Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's office in San Francisco, to present her with a petition carrying an incredible 209,419 signatures with a request to oppose the introduction of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the post-election "lame duck" session of Congress. And with your help, we succeeded! In a letter that she handed us at our meeting, Leader Pelosi wrote:
As Congress and the American people review the finalized terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), we must put American workers first to allow our economy to grow and America to succeed. Please be assured that I will oppose the TPP as it is currently written or any deal that attempts to separate commerce from the environment and will work to ensure that our nation's trade policies include increased transparency, more consultation, and stronger protections to create jobs, strengthen human rights, and preserve the environment.
Thank you, Leader Pelosi, for standing up for users to block this undemocratic, anti-user deal. Combined with the stated opposition to the TPP of both presidential candidates, and the likelihood that other House Democrats will follow Leader Pelosi's courageous lead, it is now significantly less likely that the TPP will be introduced during the lame duck session, or if introduced, that it will pass the House.
That in turn casts doubt on whether the United States will ever ratify this agreement in its present form. If it doesn't, then the TPP will never come into force, which will amount to a significant blow against the opaque, lobbyist-driven lawmaking practiced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and a cautionary lesson for the conclusion of subsequent trade agreements such as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
If the future of United States trade policy is not to reflect the failed legacy of anti-user agreements such as ACTA, the USTR will have little choice but to bite the bullet and embrace a more transparent, participatory model of trade negotiation that fairly reflects the needs of users, cultural institutions, and innovative businesses, rather than only those of rich entertainment corporations and pharmaceutical companies.
Although Leader Pelosi's stand is a significant victory, it is not an iron-clad guarantee that the TPP won't be put before Congress for a vote during the lame duck session of Congress. If it is, then the fight will begin again. That's why now is not the time to let up the pressure on the administration to finally abandon this fatally flawed deal.
This Saturday, we'll again be joining with a coalition of other groups to Rock Against the TPP, at the kick-off of a massive rally and concert tour in Denver. If you'll be in Denver, San Diego, Portland or Seattle over the next few weeks, join us at one of these concerts to celebrate our victory so far, and to sound the death knell for the TPP.