The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support to pass is still an open question.
Unfortunately, the TPP just got a major boost from some of the largest and most well-known internet companies. A trade association representing companies including Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo just announced their full support of the TPP.1,2
This is outrageous. The TPP is antithetical to the interests of internet users. Furthermore, many of these companies pride themselves on putting the rights and interests of their users first and claim that principles such as free speech and privacy are at the core of their mission. TPP directly undermines those values in favor of corporate profit.
Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo don’t have to go along with the Internet Association’s disastrously poor decision to endorse the TPP. One of its members, Reddit, has just come out and disavowed the endorsement.3 This is why we are joining with our friends from Fight for the Future to pressure other members to do the same.
The TPP was written and negotiated in absolute secrecy, and it’s easy to see why. It would eviscerate broad swaths of regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment, and the soundness of our financial system. And it would set up a global system where corporate profits trump the policy priorities of sovereign governments.
Passage of the TPP could mean more American jobs offshored, developing countries losing access to lifesaving medications, and unsafe foods and products pouring into our country. The deal includes countries that are notorious for human rights violations without once mentioning “human rights” in its 5,600 pages.
The deal could also mean the end of internet freedom as we know it. It would expand corporate copyright enforcement at the expense of privacy and free speech. It would criminalize tinkering and modifying products under fair use purposes. And it would allow corporations to avoid the legal and democratic process by using secretive international tribunals to attack internet users’ rights – the same tribunals that could be used to undermine environmental and consumer protections.
The members of the Internet Association have no obligation to support this wrongheaded endorsement of the TPP. And, fortunately, many of these companies would be extremely sensitive to a backlash from their own users. After all, companies like Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t have a product if it weren’t for their users’ ability to freely express themselves and create content on a daily basis.
With the media currently focused on the corrupt practices of corporations revealed in the release of the Panama Papers,4 we have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on how the TPP is just another attempt by corporations to skirt domestic and international law.
If we can get these major internet companies to publicly reject the TPP, as Reddit just did, we can turn this pathetic and self-defeating endorsement into exactly the opposite: A major public statement against the TPP and the corporate power grab it represents.
Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for your activism.
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
- Internet Association Member List.
- “Statement In Support Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Internet Association, March 30, 2016.
- “Reddit statement on Twitter disavowing TPP endorsement,” Reddit, March 30, 2016.
- “Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations,” BBC, April 4, 2016.