To Blunt Opposition, Obama Administration Conceals Details of Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Treaty

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Posted Oct. 23, 2013

Interview with Lori Wallach, director, Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, conducted by Scott Harris


The Obama administration is now gearing up to enlist support for its effort to pass the newest free trade treaty, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, through Congress by the end of this year. The TPP, as it’s known, is a proposed trade agreement between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that would set new rules on trade and non-trade issues such as food safety, Internet freedom, the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, financial regulation and environmental protection.

Signatories to the trade agreement would be forced to change their nation’s existing domestic laws and regulations to conform to the new rules adopted under a future TPP treaty. What’s alarmed many social justice, civil liberties, environmental and labor rights advocates is the tight circle of secrecy that’s surrounded the ongoing negotiations on the trade treaty. While members of Congress have had either no, or very limited access to read the proposed text of the TPP or the right to observe negotiations, 600 or more trade “advisers,” largely representing the interests of large corporations, have had easy access to the proposed treaty text and are invited to attend negotiating sessions.

President Obama has called for the rarely used “fast-track” authority that would give him the right to sign the TPP agreement before Congress votes on it. And when Congress does vote, it will be under restrictive rules limiting debate and prohibiting all amendments. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, who examines the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership treaty and the threat posed to food safety, banking, environmental and labor rights by this secret trade deal.

Learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade treaty by visiting Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch page on the TPP at

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