Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, the real fight starts

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For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a “trade deal” that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world’s biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty.

All that time, activists have dogged the TPP process, showing up uninvited, publishing and analyzing leaked TPP drafts, making sure that politicians who supported TPP (sight unseen!) were held to account at each election cycle.

It was inevitable that eventually, negotiators would call it a day and declare the TPP “finalized” and send a secret draft back to all the member-states’ legislatures to be passed without public review. Today, that happened.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it happened once before, with ACTA, another secret treaty that was TPP 1.0. Like TPP, ACTA eventually went back to member-states. But then a funny thing happened: the people rose up. Across the US and Europe, people took to the streets, worked the phones, wrote letters. The normally boring business of the technicalities of law – a death-sentence for any kind of public interest – was overruled by the easiest-to-understand of points: if ACTA is so great, why did they have to keep it a secret?

It’s time for the ACTA fight, 2.0. It’s time to rise up against the adoption of TPP.

In the US, Congress granted the Obama administration “fast track” authority, giving it the ability to pass TPP without any substantial debate and without hope of revision, so long as it does so within 90 days. That means that any delay of 90 days or more will probably kill TPP. What were you planning on doing for the next three months? I know what I’ll be doing:

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