On May 9, over 30 legal scholars sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk calling on the administration to expand participation and transparency in the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership. The letter specifically called for the administration to work to give the general public the same rights to see US proposals in the negotiation as cleared corporate advisers now have.
USTR sent an initial response the day it was received, and now has followed it with a formal letter dated May 30 from Ambassador Ron Kirk.
Dear Mr. Sprigman:
Thank you for your letter conferring transparency of the negotiations on the intellectual property provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Every trade negotiation requires the balancing of transparency, which is a principle and an active policy to which this Administration is strongly committed, with confidentiality sufficient to enable negotiators for various governments to share information and have frank conversations that result in progress toward concluding a trade agreement.
The Administration invites a wide range of stakeholders – far beyond the “cleared advisers” who serve as part of our advisory committee system – to meet with USTR officials in Washington and on-site at the TPP negotiating rounds, including the negotiations in Dallas earlier this month, to provide direct input on issues from intellectual property to agriculture and market access.