[Ip-health] Fact or Fiction: Fast Track Bill Protects Sovereignty

Sean Michael Flynn sflynn at wcl.american.edu
Mon Apr 20 18:14:51 PDT 2015

The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that was released last week
contains a fascinating Section 8 on ³Sovereignty.²  The section appears
intended to make all trade agreements with the U.S. not binding to the
extent that they contradict any provision of U.S. law, current or future.
If valid, the section would go a long way to calming fears in this country
that new trade agreements, like the old ones, could be used by corporations
or other countries to force the U.S. to alter domestic regulations.  (See,
for example, analysis on how the leaked TPP text
<http://infojustice.org/archives/34253>  could enable challenges to
intellectual property limitations and exceptions like the U.S. fair use
doctrine). Here, I analyze Section 8¹s promise using The Washington Post's
³Fact or Fiction² Pinocchio scale
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/about-the-fact-checker/> .
For containing numerous blatantly misleading characterizations of
international law, including outright falsehoods concerning the ability of
U.S. Congress to determine when international law binds, I give the
provision four Pinocchios.

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