I’m deeply disturbed by something Senator Elizabeth Warren has brought to the floor of Congress just recently.
The US Trade Representative is currently conducting negotiations on renewing a trade agreement with several allied nations, called the “Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Historically, and even under the Bush Administration, this had Congressional oversight. Apparently, under the Obama Administration — the Administration who’s buzzword is ‘Transparency,” that’s no longer the case.
The US Trade Representative is REFUSING Congressional requests for review — in any capacity, including “scrubbed” versions, with individual country names redacted, but the policy proposals visible.
Why would a treaty involving commerce, and indeed, including representatives from companies like Bank of America, Comcast, TimeWarner, be so secretive?
Indeed, the only Representative in Congress who’s SEEN the agreement, has said the following:
“There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.”
— Represenative Alan Grayson (D-FL)
Repeatedly asked for the text that Senator Warren refers to, she, and Congress, have been categorically DENIED. Why is the US Trade Representative not allowing for either a) Public transparency or b) Congressional transparency when the only member of Congress YET to review it, says there is no concern for National Security?
“…’transparency would undermine the Trade Representative’s policy to complete the trade agreement, because Public Opposition would be significant.’ In other words, if the Public knew what was going on, they would STOP it.”
— Senator Elizabeth Warren, quoting the US Trade Representative
“If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”
— Senator Elizabeth Warren
See her speech to Congress here.
- Warren on Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it (rawstory.com)
- Sen. Warren Asks Froman to Release the Negotiating Text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (infojustice.org)
- Elizabeth Warren Announces She Will Oppose Obama’s Trade Representative Nominee (boldprogressives.org)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls for the release of trade documents (dailykos.com)
- Congressman gets a look at secret Trans-Pacific Partnership draft: “This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests” (boingboing.net)
- Japan Participation in Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement Seen As Threat By Detroit (rumors.automobilemag.com)
- Warren on Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it (realnewsnow.com)
- Video: Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it (johnhively.wordpress.com)
- Alan Grayson on Secret ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ treaty: It “hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests” (slothed.com)
- Free Markets, Free Trade Are Good… Except When The Rules Are Made In Secret (personalliberty.com)