Hoi friends, and welcome to me shitting on anti-internet legal shenanigans. So for those of you who don't know, a hot topic debate in the US right now is the Trans Pacific Partnership, a 12 country international trade agreement that President Obama has been lobbying support for so he can "fast track" negotiations of. What do either of those things mean? Well first, let's look at the TPP. For those who haven't heard of it, the TPP is a trade agreement being done in near complete secret, only a handful of world leaders and a few hundred corporate lobbyists and businessmen have seen the full text. Leaked passages have been worrying, enforcing strict global copyright law that harms the disabled, allow corporations to sue governments whose laws interfere in profit expectations, and much more. I would advise you to look up the data available on WikiLeaks, or to find summaries if you don't have the time for that amount of reading. Just educate yourself if you haven't already.
Now, onto fast track, Trade Promotion Authority. The TPA allows congress and the senate to vote so that they can voluntarily waive their rights to amend and filibuster the contents of trade agreement negotiations, basically giving the president full authority to move without restriction. The TPA was first introduced in the 70s, being renewed all the way to the 90s, and was renewed once again during George Bush Jr's run. Overall, the US has had a troubled past with trade agreements, which makes the frequent renewal of this authority somewhat troubling, as it undermines the spirit of our system of checks and balances. It depends very much on what it's being used for whether or not the TPA is a good thing or a bad thing, but either way, it removes the need for transparency and liability, which is never a good thing.
The good news is that opposition to the TPP is steadily growing, enough that the TPA was blocked in congress, the first hurdle it needs to pass before it can go to congress to be voted into law again. This is major, because without the US, the TPP is almost assured to not pass, the longer negotiations are put off, the better.
Have any thoughts, comments, or objections to add? Did I miss something or get something wrong? Feel free to tell me, I am always open to civil discssion on these matters.