The Information Policy Blog

The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee

130 members of U.S. House of Representatives write letter seeking greater transparency in Trans Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations

Over 130 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written a letter seeking greater transparency in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotations.

Excerpt:

We write with regard to the ongoing negotiations over a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), an agreement that continues to grow in scope. Specifically, we write to urge you and your staff to engage in broader and deeper consultations with members of the full range of committees of Congress whose jurisdiction touches on the wide-ranging issues involved, and to ensure there is ample opportunity for Congress to have input on critical policies that will have broad ramifications for years to come.

As the President noted in his remarks at the November Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, those involved in the TPP FTA negotiations are seeking “a high-level trade agreement that could potentially be a model, not just for countries in the Pacific region, but for the world generally.” In doing so, this pact would establish rules that extend far beyond traditional trade matters to include “a whole range of new trade issues that are going to be coming up in the future – innovation, regulatory convergence, how we’re thinking about the Internet and intellectual property.”

The TPP FTA represents an opportunity to create a new, sustainable model that respects domestic policy choices and promotes economic development with shared prosperity. Unfortunately, reports indicate the agreement is likely to repeat, rather than improve upon, the existing trade template—including the weakening of Buy America provisions, providing extraordinary investor-state privileges, and restricting access to lifesaving medicines in developing nations, to name a few.

Comment: since Canada just joined the TPP negotiations, wouldn’t it be nice if our politicians wrote a letter like this, too?

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