This week, things were happening faster than we could report on them. Last Sunday, right after our call, we got word that there had been a SECOND Wikileaks release of TPP negotiating text – from the discussion round in Salt Lake City. Shortly after, we heard that Rep. Dave Camp, House Ways and Means Committee Chair, said he’s likely to introduce a Fast Track Bill when Congress comes back from the break. (Congress reconvenes on January 7.)
Given the news this week, it was a happy coincidence that we’d already secured as this week’s speaker Law Professor David S. Levine. He’s written and lectured extensively on issues of transparency and intellectual property issues in the TPP, and is considered one the nation’s authorities on the subject. http://www.elon.edu/e-web/law/faculty/levine_david.xhtml
Professor Levine and a colleague drafted a letter in November (when the first IP text appeared on Wikileaks) that was signed by 83 of their peers at top law schools all over the country. (Among the signers, Lawrence Lessig.) Though their politics differ, these noted legal scholars, as a group, concur that the TPP deserves closer scrutiny, and that granting fast track authority is not the way to make that happen. They also raise questions and express concerns based on the presumed (it can’t legally be verified by anyone) intellectual property content in the leaked text, as well as the legal basis for some of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations themselves. (This made your TPP Team coordinator more than a little curious and is what prompted us to approach him about speaking on the call.) We are very fortunate to have him with us!
He will be addressing:
- The state of the TPP negotiations
- Reasons for the professors’ letter
- How the letter came together
- USTR (U.S. Trade Representative) and ITACs (Industry Trade Advisory Committees)
- The FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and national security
- Procedural impact on substance
- What do we mean by transparency?
If that weren’t enough we have another powerhouse joining us – Lori Wallach, fearless leader of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and the architect behind most of what is being done to stop fast track and the TPP.
It is true that we will probably return from the holidays and be smack in the middle of a fast track vote. But there’s more to it. If you’d like to hear “the inside scoop” right from Lori herself, along with all the details about the last round of TPP negotiations in Singapore, be sure to join us!
Sunday, December 15 National TPP Team call at 4:30 p.m. PST, 7:30 p.m. EST You will need a phone and a computer to participate. CALL IN FIRST from a land or cell phone (not your computer – we are not using the meeting room audio.) Do this before you click on the link to the meeting room. Enter the telephone access code when prompted.
Dial-in Number: (559) 726-1300 Access code: 536655#
Be sure you have enabled cookies, then click on this link to the meeting room and follow the directions to log in: http://www.anymeeting.com/moveforjustice1
You will need a computer with Adobe Flash Player to access the online meeting room. We use twoservices for the call. Remember: you cannot link to the audio with a computer microphone – you need a phone to listen to the call.