Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in a Thursday letter to U.S. Trade Representative Nominee Michael Froman, sought support for increased transparency in trade negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Warren said in her letter that she had concerns about the administration’s record of transparency, specifically during TPP negotiations.
“If members of the public do not have reasonable access to the terms of the agreements under negotiation, then they are unable to offer real input into the process,” Warren said. “Without transparency, the benefit from robust democratic participation – an open marketplace of ideas – is considerably reduced.”
The letter highlighted the unwillingness of the administration to provide composite bracketed text relating to the negotiations to the public, including proposed language from the U.S. and other countries. She noted that the text serves as the focal point for negotiations and that the Bush administration, while not itself completely transparent, at least released a scrubbed version of the bracketed text in 2001 during negotiations over the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Warren asked Froman to immediately make the bracketed text of the TPP public or to at least support the Bush administration’s half-measure of transparency. She also asked for information on the level of details on negotiations to be made available to advisory committees so that they may give complete and accurate advice to the administration during the agreement’s development.