Economic Liberties & Fight Corporate Monopolies Equip Communities With Strategy & Tactics To Ban Secret Deals

July 29, 2022 Press Release

Washington D.C. — A new report from the American Economic Liberties Project and Fight Corporate Monopolies released today, Ban Secret Deals: How Secret Corporate Subsidy Deals Harm Communities, and What to Do About Itdetails the harmful nature of secretive “economic development” deals and provides local communities with tools to combat them.  

“Large corporations use nondisclosure agreement to force billion-dollar local subsidy deals into the shadows because they know those deals won’t stand up to the test of public scrutiny,said Pat Garofalo, Director of State and Local Policy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “By shutting community members out of negotiations with profiteering corporations, secret deals violate fundamental principles of local democracy, harm small businesses, and lead to overt corruption, extracting resources from the public and pushing it into private hands. Legislators should ban this practice now.”   

The only purpose of secret deals is to silence the public, who should absolutely have a say in improving or eliminating deals that don’t benefit their community,” said Katelyn Coghlan, Political Director at Fight Corporate Monopolies. “Communities are entitled to know what their government is spending its public resources on and if they don’t approve, they deserve the chance to organize, ask questions, and demand transparency from their local officials. The first step to stopping a bad economic development deal is being aware of them, and this report will arm communities with knowledge and tactics to turn up the pressure on their local officials.”

All across the country, public officials including mayors, city councilors, and governors have signed non-disclosure agreements when doling out corporate subsidies to corporations such as Amazon, Facebook, General Motors, and Panasonic. The goal of these agreements is clear: To prevent input into corporate subsidy deals from affected communities, workers, or local businesses, and thus circumvent any organized public opposition.

A June 2022 poll showed that 71 percent of voters say they are more likely to support a candidate who favors banning backroom subsidy deals negotiated without public input. In addition to state legislation to ban secret deals, community members can use a variety of tactics described in the report to spot and stop secret deals in their own backyards.

Read the full report, Ban Secret Deals: How Secret Corporate Subsidy Deals Harm Communities, and What to Do About It here.

Learn more about the Ban Secret Deals Coalition here.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here and Fight Corporate Monopolies here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.
Fight Corporate Monopolies is a registered 501(c)(4) nonprofit that is building a movement to address today’s crisis of concentrated economic power. We do not accept any funding from corporations. For more information on Fight Corporate Monopolies, visit