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Groups call for end to secrecy in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations

Posted Oct. 20, 2011 / Posted by: Bill Waren

As another round of negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement between the United States and seven other Pacific countries began on October 19 in Peru, Friends of the Earth joined 20 other environmental and civil society groups to call for an end to secrecy in these important trade talks.

A leaked document brought to light an agreement between the U.S. and other parties to keep the draft negotiating text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement classified. In a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, the AFL-CIO and other groups urged the Obama administration to honor its pledge of transparency in trade policy-making and release the negotiating text. Friends of the Earth allies in Malaysia, Chile, Australia and New Zealand have also sent letters to their trade ministries demanding an open process that protects the public interest from the behind-the-scenes influence of corporate lobbyists.

Public access to the negotiating text is essential to understanding and challenging the extent to which the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are based on the environmentally-destructive model of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Big oil, mining multi-nationals, tobacco companies and giant agribusiness companies are demanding NAFTA-style provisions that would allow them to avoid accountability for the environmental destruction, health risks and social injustice wrought by their trade and investment projects.

Read the letter sent to Ambassador Kirk

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