Immediately after the U.S. midterm elections, questions were raised about plans to introduce Fast Track legislation during the lame duck session of Congress and President Obama flew to Asia for a week of meetings, some dealing with finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But while new Congressional maps were analyzed, fair trade activists wasted no time – and got to work during the Week of Action Against Fast Track and the TPP.
Together we held 20 rallies and events; made over a thousand phone calls; sent hundreds of thousands of new emails; and delivered over 700,000 previously-collected petition signatures and letters. In all, Congress heard over a million voices against Fast Track last week.
And our pressure may just be working. Global Exchange participated in a meeting at Senator Feinstein’s office on Nov 18, and her San Francisco staffers suggested that Fast Track may be off the agenda for this session. Earlier in the week, a trio of House Democrats (Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Alan Grayson (Fla.) said that neither fast-track nor the TPP have any chance of passing in the lame-duck session or in the next Congress.
Either way, we’re vigilant. referring to the restrictions elected representatives face to properly discuss and debate trade deals such as the TPP if Fast Track is introduced and passed in Congress, James P Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, stated,
There is no good reason for lawmakers to support fast track. If a trade deal is so good, it should be able to stand on its own. But there is simply too much that is unknown about trade pacts like the TPP to allow Congress to drop its oversight of the process. The signatures we submitted prove the American public understands the issue. Now elected officials need to do the same.
Join a special public, online teach-in to hear representatives from several digital rights groups based in TPP countries share their analysis of the latest leaked text, as well as to lay out the current state of play of the negotiations.
When: November 19, 2014, 12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern / 5pm Chile / 7am Australia EST / 9am New Zealand
Where: Google Hangout and streamed on Youtube (link to livestream will be provided here on the day of the event)
Who: Members of the TPP Fair Deal Coalition, including Electronic Frontier Foundation (US), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Consumer NZ (New Zealand), Public Citizen (US), OpenMedia.ca (Canada)