December 13, 2011 | By Maira Sutton

House Committee on Ways and Means to Discuss Trans-Pacific Partnership

The House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on the status and future negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Wednesday at 10:00 AM EST. The EFF has continually covered this secretive multi-nation trade agreement, which if passed, would export restrictive U.S. intellectual property laws across the globe.

TPP Watch, a New Zealand-based network of groups and individuals opposing the agreement, describes the agreement this way:

Trade is only a minor part of the agreement. That’s just a clever branding exercise. A TPPA would be an agreement that guarantees special rights to foreign investors.  If these negotiations succeed they will create a mega-treaty across 9 countries that will put a straight jacket around what policies and laws our governments can adopt for the next century – think GM labeling, foreign investment laws, price of medicines, regulating dodgy finance firms…

The complete lack of transparency in policy negotiations remains. The committee announced that since they have “limited time available to hear the witnesses”, they have restricted participation to be invitation-only at the actual hearing. Witnesses for the hearing will include Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Devry S. Boughner, the Director for International Business Relations on behalf of Cargill, Inc., and Angela Marshall Hofmann, Vice President, Global Integrated Sourcing and Trade for Wal-Mart Stores. 

EFF will continue to keep a close watch on developments of TPP as negotiations intensify in the coming year.

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