Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the Obama Administration’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, asking him to “immediately make fully public ” the negotiating text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If that is not possible, Sen. Warren asked Froman to make public a “scrubbed” version which would include the language under negotiation, while hiding which country or countries proposed which version of text. She emphasized the need for the public to see the text in order to weigh in on the debate over the agreement, which will affect the internet and access to medicines, saying “I believe in transparency and democracy, and I think the U.S. Trade Representative should too.”
This is the latest in a long line of requests for greater transparency from Capitol Hill. At Froman’s confirmation hearing last week, Sen. Wyden said that he would like USTR to place online all text it proposes as part of the TPP negotiations.
Last year, over 130 members of Congress asked USTR for access to the text for them and their staffs to view the text; Congressman Darrell Issa unsuccessfully sought to view the Dallas round of TPP negotiations as an observer; and four Senators asked USTR to “provide the public with detailed information and consistent updates on what USTR is seeking in the TPP on these matters of broad public interest.”