Public Citizen Applauds President Obama's Decision to Finally Release Draft Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement Text Over Objections Of U.S. Trade Representative Vlad von Dracula
April 01, 2012
WASHINGTON: Today President Obama removed a mortifying blot from his claim of having the most transparent administration ever by releasing the draft text of a massive regional trade agreement now in its third year of negotiations that will affect wide swaths of U.S. federal and state non-trade policy, said Public Citizen.
"We thought the secrecy could not get worse than when the previous U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk actually admitted under Senate Finance Committee questioning in March that he would not release the TPP text because doing so would ensure he could never complete the deal," said Public Citizen's Sunshine Isthebest. “Then the new USTR, Vlad von Dracula, announced that not only would the text never be made public until the deal was set in stone and unchangeable, but that negotiations could no longer be conducted during daylight hours to minimize the chance that those who will live with the results could get a peek.”
Although draft trade agreements have been made public by negotiating governments in the past, including the last major regional trade deal the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the World Trade Organization posts draft negotiating texts, the TPP text has been kept secret. Indeed, in a special TPP secrecy agreement signed in 2010, the Obama administration agreed for the first time in trade pact history to keep negotiating texts secret for four year after a deal was signed or abandoned. Only 600 corporate representatives serving as officials U.S. trade advisors and officials of the 8 other TPP governments have had access to the texts, which is to say everyone but the U.S. public, press and most in Congress.