The United States is considering approval of 21st-century Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that purports to enhance trade and investment with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The text of the agreement has never been officially released to the public, only leaked draft from 2011. What we do know is that this trade agreement would encompass 40 percent of the global marketplace, and is the biggest trade deal yet. Voices in Washington are already pushing for a fast track.
This agreement needs to be open to public debate. The repercussions have direct consequences for people's lives. The lack of transparency in this process is problematic. Negotiations that go on in the shadows -- and attempts to eliminate public debate -- are rightly questioned. It is important that trade agreements include a transparent negotiating and debate process, respect for national sovereignty, as well as corporate compliance with laws and regulations that protect human rights, the environment, and the common good.
-- Ivan Herman, Carmichael