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Truth Out: What’s Going On With the TPP?

TPP Update: After years of secret negotiations, we’ve just learned U.S. Trans-Pacific Partnership officials have decided to appoint a “Chief Transparency Officer.” So who did they pick? One of their own lawyers, Tim Reif. Not exactly encouraging. TPP provisions will grievously hurt the Internet and our right to free expression! We need to speak out at Article by Maira Sutton (EFF) for Truth Out

Over the past month, trade officials have been frantically working to resolve outstanding disagreements over provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the midst of speculation that the deal is in deep trouble. At this late stage of negotiations, the US Trade Representative (USTR) has pretty much abandoned all remaining pretense of transparency in its consideration of these remaining policy issues. Since the failure to conclude the deal at the meeting in Hawaii over the summer, the USTR has held several closed-door meetings between high-level officials to finalize the agreement and it is under intensifying pressure to finish it off as soon as possible.

Trade Officials Continue to Meet Secretly

In mid-August, there was a week-long meeting in Mexico to do a "legal scrub" of the TPP text, in order to have the text ready to go for an eventual signing. Toward the end of August, officials from Canada and Mexico went to Washington to continue discussions, likely around auto trade issues. And this week the USTR met with Vietnam's National Assembly along with corporate representatives of one of several trade advisory committees, with some other meetings taking place between Japan, Canada, and Mexico, also regarding auto trade.

US officials seem confident that they can conclude before the end of the year. Undoubtedly, they are under mounting pressure from the impending federal elections in Canada, Japan, and the United States' presidential election season looming on the horizon. The Japanese trade minister claims that it will need to be concluded before the end of September, stating that otherwise it will be difficult to continue talks as Canada heads into its general election in October.

- Read more at Truth Out

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