- This biotech company’s logo is almost straight out of Resident Evil 5 Years Ago
- Trump says mass deportations to start next week Today 12:28 PM
- GOP pollster bothered by broken elevator in Austria blames socialism Today 10:50 AM
- YouTuber renames small town ‘Gay Hell’ to defy Trump Pride policy Today 10:43 AM
- John Cusack blames Twitter bot for anti-Semitic tweet Today 10:18 AM
- YouTube rapper who glorifies pimping has been charged with human trafficking Today 10:09 AM
- Amy Klobuchar lists net neutrality as part of her 100-day plan for presidency Today 8:54 AM
- Reddit just banned the NBA Streams subreddit Today 8:17 AM
- How to watch ‘Drunk History’ for free Today 8:00 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Unit 42’ soars on the chemistry of its unlikely lead partners Today 7:30 AM
- How to watch ‘Good Trouble’ for free Today 7:00 AM
- It’s time for Pete Buttigieg to claim his status as Short King Today 6:30 AM
- The best foreign-language TV shows on Netflix Today 6:00 AM
- Hasan Minhaj explains why your internet sucks in ‘Patriot Act’ episode, puts it on DVD Monday 8:41 PM
- Hackers got control of Dylan Sprouse’s Twitter account, posted offensive content Monday 7:38 PM
Senate Democrats could kill ‘fast track’ for controversial trade agreement
“Everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that he will block key legislation to aid the quick passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, widely regarded by activists as a major threat to Internet freedom.
The TPP, a multinational trade agreement between a dozen Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S., is negotiated in secret by those countries’ respective trade representatives. Activists have found plenty to gripe about in many of those chapters, including the one on intellectual property, which they say would standardize overly harsh online copyright policies for each country.
A key strategy for those who want to see the TPP pushed through in its entirety in the U.S. is for Congress to renew a policy called Trade Promotion Authority. Often referred to as “fast track,” it would keep Congress from voting on individual elements of the TPP, and instead would have them vote on the agreement in its entirety. But the TPP in general, and fast track in particular, has grown decidedly less popular recently, as WikiLeaks has been obtaining and releasing the agreement’s secret chapters.
“I’m against fast track,” Reid told reporters Wednesday, reportedly noting that he might deny floor time for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to introduce it. Baucus is soon leaving to become ambassador to China, and his replacement, Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), is perhaps the TPP’s most vocal critic in Congress.
Support for fast track is mixed, especially among Democrats, who almost completely oppose it in the House. But President Obama is a firm supporter, and mentioned in his State of the Union Address Tuesday that he wished Congress could come together on it.
“We’ll see,” Reid said. “Everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now.”
Illustration by donkeyhotey/Flickr (remix by Fernando Alfonso III)
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.