[Ip-health] Twenty groups write Congress, no fast track without public access to trade agreement negotiating texts

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Mar 20 14:20:25 PDT 2015


Twenty groups write Congress, no fast track without public access to trade
agreement negotiating texts

Twenty groups, including KEI, have written Congress, asking the Congress to
provide public access to draft trade agreement texts and U.S. proposals
throughout negotiations, and to specific that only agreements developed
through such processes should obtain any expedited congressional

Among other things, the groups said:

As Congress contemplates whether or how to delegate its constitutional
authority over trade policy to the Obama administration, we understand that
a Fast Track trade authority bill is expected soon and that it may include
revised provisions around transparency in trade negotiations. If the trade
authority bill is to actually increase transparency, then it must go much
further than simply codifying past practices. At a minimum, any trade
authority legislation should mandate that in order for a trade agreement to
be granted expedited consideration in Congress, both U.S. draft textual
proposals and the consolidated bracketed negotiating texts must be made
public at regular intervals during the negotiating process. Trade
negotiations such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that have not met
these transparency standards should not receive any Fast Track treatment.

Greater transparency is essential because these negotiations are of
unprecedented scope with respect to both the subject matter and the
countries potentially involved. The current TPP partners sum up to 40
percent of world GDP and the proposed “docking” mechanism could allow other
countries to join.

The subject matter now being negotiated extends significantly beyond
tariffs and other traditional trade matters. As the United States will be
obliged to bring existing and future domestic policies into compliance with
the international norms established in the pact, this process would
establish policies binding on future U.S. Congresses and state legislatures
on numerous non-trade subjects currently under the jurisdiction of these
domestic legislative bodies.

A copy of the two page letter is available here:

It was signed by:

American Library Association
Association of College & Research Libraries
Association of Research Libraries
Center for Effective Government
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Defending Dissent Foundation
Food & Water Watch
Government Accountability Project
Knowledge Ecology International
Liberty Coalition
Project Censored
Public Citizen
Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
Special Libraries Association
Sunlight Foundation
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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