A leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) investment chapter has been published online by Citizens Trade Campaign, the same coalition that first published TPP proposals from the United States on intellectual property, regulatory coherence and drug formularies in late 2011. Draft texts are said to exist for some 26 separate chapters, none of which have ever been officially released by trade negotiators for public review.
“Americans deserve the right to know what U.S. negotiators are proposing in our names,” said Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign. “In the absence of transparency on the part of our government, we have a responsibility to share what information we receive about the TPP with the public.”
The new texts reveal that TPP negotiators are considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.
“We are just beginning to analyze the new texts now, but they clearly contain proposals designed to give transnational corporations special rights that go far beyond those possessed by domestic businesses and American citizens,” said Stamoulis. “A proposal that could have such broad effects on environmental, consumer safety and other public interest regulations deserves public scrutiny and thorough public debate. It shouldn’t be crafted behind closed doors.”
During the last round of TPP negotiations held in Addison, Texas in May, CTC delivered over 42,000 petition signatures addressed to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, urging that TPP negotiating texts be released publicly. To date, there has been no formal response from Ambassador Kirk to that petition.
CTC staff reminded lead TPP negotiators in Addison that the World Trade Organization (WTO) regularly publishes draft negotiating texts on its website, and that a full draft of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was released for public review in 2001.
“Our hope is that the U.S. Trade Representative will answer the growing calls for transparency in the TPP,” said Stamoulis. “If not, the time has come for Members of Congress to intervene.”
The TPP is poised to become the largest free trade agreement in the world, potentially impacting jobs, wages, agriculture, migration, the environment, consumer safety, financial regulations, Internet protocols, government procurement and more.
The pact is currently under negotiation between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, but is being specifically written as a “docking agreement” that other countries can join over time. Canada, Japan and Mexico are currently pressing to do so. The thirteenth major round of TPP negotiations will be held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel from July 2 – 10.
The TPP investment chapter can be found online at: http://tinyurl.com/tppinvestment
Analysis of the TPP investment chapter:
Public Interest Analysis of Leaked TPP Investment Text (Global Trade Watch)
Additional analysis regarding the TPP investment chapter will be published on the CTC website as it becomes available.
Previous leaked TPP texts can be found online at: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2011/10/22/leaked-trans-pacific-fta-texts-reveal-u-s-undermining-access-to-medicine/