Target: Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative
Goal: Release the negotiation details and text draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a trade agreement currently in negotiation between the US and eight other Pacific region countries including Australia, Japan, and Canada. The agreement proposes a massive free trade zone that would encompass the Pacific Ocean and all four hemispheres and, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, intends to “comprehensively reduce [trade] barriers in goods, services, and agricultural trade as well as rules and disciplines on a wide range of topics.”
However, a draft of the agreement has been kept from both Congress and the American public. Only selections of the document have been leaked to the internet and its content has elicited some controversy. One of the leaked sections details the agreement’s focus on stronger intellectual property laws. Another section expands patent protection laws and calls for increased us of “data exclusivity,” which grants a government monopoly (often up to 14 years) to drug producers and forbids generic competitors from entering the market. Increased copyright and patent protection laws, while antithetical to free trade doctrine insofar as they are measures that increase costs and restrict competition, work in the favor of the corporate interests that are likely present behind the scenes of the negotiations. What’s more, this treaty would potential override domestic law on the environment, workplace safety, and capital regulations. The ratification of the TPP could provide sufficient legal precedent to enact corporate-sponsored legislation without Congressional approval.
The details of this agreement remain undisclosed to the public so it is impossible to fully comprehend the nature of this treaty. Nonetheless, secretive trade agreements like the TPP undermine democratic procedure and inspire conspiratorial conclusions about the nature of corporate-government relations. Demand the release of the text draft as well as the negotiation details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Dear Trade Representative Kirk,
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a major free trade agreement whose negotiations and provisions have been kept a secret from both Congress and the American public. While some sections of the document have been leaked, a draft of the entire text has yet to be made available for mass scrutiny.
As you know, treaties have the ability to impact and override domestic law. Therefore, it is imperative that the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement are made publicly available so that Americans (including Congress) can understand the potential impact of this agreement. The American public deserves to know how its leaders intend to proceed in matters that affect prices, copyright law, foreign relations, and overall economic policy. Please release the text draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and details about negations thus far.
[Your Name Here]
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