May 9, 2012 | By Parker Higgins

Law Professors Call for TPP Transparency

As the opaque proceedings surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) continue, a group of 32 law professors from current and potential future negotiating countries have written a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk condemning the lack of transparency. The letter comes as a new round of negotiations begins in Dallas, where the USTR has canceled full-day stakeholder presentations. Given that there has been no publicly released version of the text, the lack of a meaningful stakeholder forum means that the only private individuals not shut out of the agreement are the members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on IP, which is "dominated by brand name pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Hollywood entertainment industry."

As the law professors explain, this trajectory towards an even more extreme lack of transparency is the wrong course.

Now is (indeed, yesterday was) the time to ramp up participation mechanisms that might bolster the agreement’s legitimacy and fairness, not dial them back – if the goal is to create balanced law that stands the test of modern democratic theories and practices of public transparency, accountability and input.  Please restore the stakeholder sessions and release negotiating texts now.

EFF joins these professors in calling on the USTR and the administration to reverse course on using "trade" agreements in an attempt to undemocratically tie the hands of Congress to determine the legislation that works best for the American people. Public policy requires public input.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Come to EFF HQ on July 8 for a book talk with author of "Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Tech" https://eff.org/r.i3fv

Jul 2 @ 4:57pm

EFF is turning 25! Here's the who, what, when, where, how, and—maybe most importantly—why of our celebration: https://eff.org/r.6dov

Jul 2 @ 4:51pm

After 28 years, the US is getting a new Librarian. @jessamyn lays out what to look for in the #nextloc: http://librarianofprogress.com/

Jul 2 @ 3:30pm
JavaScript license information