A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has extracted emails between corporate lobbyists and US Trade Rep officials working on the secretive, corrupt Trans Pacific Partnership treaty.
No one is allowed to know what's in TPP — members of Congress were kept in the dark until the last minute, then threatened with prison if they blabbed. But of course, America's top corporate lobbyists not only got to see TPP, they helped to write it.
IP Watch worked with Yale's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic to sue the US government to reveal the behind-the-scenes machinations, and the first group of documents from that suit are emerging into the stinging, disinfecting light of day. At the top of the pile is an email from Fanwood Chemical's Jim DeLisi to the USTR's Barbara Weisel, asking her to thank her boss for cut-and-pasting the rules he'd provided straight into the latest draft of the treaty.
Congress is contemplating "fast track" authority for TPP, giving up their ability to debate TPP's provisions and limiting them to a single up/down vote — effectively writing a blank check to the President and his lobbyist cronies to write America's laws in closed-door negotiations that are treated as national security secrets. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a tool to help you fight back.
Perhaps the most incredible, is the email from Jim DeLisi, from Fanwood Chemical, to Barbara Weisel, a USTR official, where DeLisi raves that he's just looked over the latest text, and is gleeful to see that the the rules that have been agreed up on are "our rules" (i.e., the lobbyists'), even to the point that he (somewhat confusingly) insists "someone owes USTR a royalty payment." While it appears he's got the whole royalty system backwards (you'd think an "IP advisor" would know better…) the point is pretty clear: the lobbyists wrote the rules, and the USTR just put them into the agreement. Weisel's response? "Well there's a bit of good news…"
In a follow-up email, DeLisi states: "I looked at the rules much more carefully over the weekend. There is no doubt, this is our template." And then, of course, the rest is redacted.
Revealed Emails Show How Industry Lobbyists Basically Wrote The TPP [Mike Masnick/Tech Dirt]