With TPP on its deathbed, digital rights activists celebrate an end to the toxic trade agreement
Reports show the Obama administration will not pursue a vote to ratify the TPP during the lame duck session of Congress
November 14, 2016 – After extensive media reports that the Obama administration will not continue to pursue a ratification vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the lame duck session of congress, activists are declaring a victory for citizen engagement.
Responding to the developments, OpenMedia’s Executive Director, Laura Tribe, issued the following statement:
“Seeing the TPP on its deathbed is a positive illustration of the impact that citizen engagement and public pressure can have on our political systems and processes. This is a huge victory for activists, advocates, and everyday citizens who have stood up for transparency, and our digital rights. OpenMedia is excited to share this victory with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have worked to expose the devil in the TPP’s details over the last several years.”
Tribe continued: “Governments around the world should see the failure of the TPP for what it is: a wholesale rejection of secretive trade processes that exclude the public and elevate the interests of a select few. We’ve known since the first drafts were leaked that the TPP is an unfair, undemocratic agreement that would strip us of our digital rights and threaten the open Internet. The TPP was not negotiated in the interests of Internet users, and would do much to undermine freedom of expression online. OpenMedia is looking forward to working with citizens to help put forward a model that encourages genuine and transparent engagement with all stakeholders and upholds fundamental democratic principles.”
The TPP agreement, which includes 12 Pacific Rim nations including Canada, the U.S. and Japan was headed for a heated battle in U.S. congress in the coming months, with President Obama poised to mount a final push to pass the agreement before the new president takes office. But with pressure from public interest groups, President Obama and senior leaders in U.S. congress have signaled they will not pursue the agreement in the lame duck session.
Last year OpenMedia published a crowdsourced report on free expression after engaging with more than 300,000 Internet users from 155 countries. The organization is also a signatory to the Brussels Statement on Trade and the Internet– along with groups including Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons.