[A2k] Labor unions, NGOs: USTR Must End Secrecy Surrounding TTIP Negotiations

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Oct 23 08:24:48 PDT 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         Contact: Carolyn Bobb, 202-637 5018



 USTR Must End Secrecy Surrounding TTIP Negotiations

Read the letter

​
http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/163509/4001644/file/Group+transparency+letter+to+Froman+Final+10-22-15.pdf
​


(Washington, DC October 23, 2015) – On a conference call today, R
ep. Lloyd Doggett (TX); Randi Weingarten, President of the

American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Lorette Picciano, Executive Director
of the Rural Coalition and Thea Lee, AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff called
on the USTR to make the current discussions of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP) the open and democratic process that the
American public deserves.

The advocates for transparency in trade highlighted a letter sent to USTR
Michael Froman by more than 75 U.S.-based groups and several academics
asking the USTR to increase transparency in the trade, investment, and
governance talks with the European Union and to immediately release its own
proposals.

“If the EU is willing to publish its textual proposals, there is no reason
why the U.S. cannot immediately release its own textual proposals as well,”
the letter said. “This significant change from present practice would be a
major step toward the release of composite draft texts after each round. It
would also help produce trade negotiations guided by the principles of
democracy, transparency, and political accountability.”

Numerous organizations and academics from across the political spectrum,
united by interest in good governance and transparency, weighed in on this
debate. All agree trade negotiations cannot continue to operate in the
current manner if they are to create better trade policies with fair rules
beneficial to all rather than a few.

“The U.S. must show its commitment to creating better trade deals and
better lives by immediately releasing their TTIP proposals. Trade
agreements negotiated in secret have had a devastating impact upon our
families, our jobs, and this nation. Hard-working men and women simply
cannot afford anything less than complete transparency when it comes to
global trade.”
Marc Perrone, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Union

“Working families don’t like it when the rules of trade are negotiated in
secret rooms we can’t enter.  The US and EU can avoid some of the problems
the TPP has by bringing TTIP into the light and allowing hardworking
Americans a chance to advocate for rules fair to all of us, not just to
corporate elites—we call on USTR to make this happen.”
Celeste Drake, Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO

“Concerned communities around the world are demanding transparency for a
deal that could affect access to clean energy, clean air and water, and
climate action. We saw a quarter of a million people protest the TTIP in
Berlin, and more and more of the Sierra Club's 2.4 million members and
supporters are joining in the call for a new, transparent model of trade
that puts people before polluter profits.”
Ilana Solomon, Director of Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program

“Many of our organizations have been advocating for specific changes to the
business as usual approach to free trade since the inception of these
talks. Simply listening to and receiving comments isn’t anywhere near
enough. USTR should publish the TTIP texts now.”
Karen Hansen-Kuhn, Director of International Strategies, Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy

“Complex trade agreements like TTIP have far reaching consequences for
science-based policies.  We need real access to the details to understand
and be fully engaged in the process of deciding if the agreement and its
provisions are truly in the public interest.”
Andrew Rosenberg, Director, Center for Science and Democracy at the Union
of Concerned Scientists

“Trade agreements are too consequential for the public, and too complex, to
exclude everyone but a handful of bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists from
having access to the details during the negotiations.   It is insulting
beyond belief that policy makers think there is any justification for
blocking public access to a text that is already shared with both
negotiating parties and hundreds of lobbyists representing big
corporations.”
James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International

###

A digitized replay of this morning’s call is scheduled to begin today at
11:00am and be available until October 24th at 11:59pm EST.

USA: 800-475-6701     International: 320-365-3844        Access Code: 372107



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