Press Release – AFTINET
As negotiations tasked with pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to conclusion gets underway in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network condemned worsening opportunities for public participation in an already opaque process.November 19, 2013
Secretive TPP Negotiations Move Further Underground in Salt Lake City
As negotiations tasked with pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to conclusion gets underway in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network condemned worsening opportunities for public participation in an already opaque process.
“What was supposedly the last major round of TPP negotiations took place in Brunei in late August. That round, and the 18 rounds before it, all contained formal opportunities for civil society and the public to register as stakeholders and interact with negotiators. The Salt Lake City Round contains no official stakeholder process,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.
“While the TPP negotiations have long been marred by secrecy about the details of the text, this is the first major round of talks without any formal opportunity for civil society to present their views to negotiators,” said Dr Ranald.
“We know from the TPP text leaked last week that the proposals being discussed in Salt Lake City could change Australian laws and prevent current and future governments from regulating in the public interest in areas like medicines and copyright. We know that corporations are advising negotiators on these matters, but other civil society voices have now been excluded,” said Dr Ranald.
Negotiations for ten separate chapters are expected to take place, including environment, intellectual property, investment, labour, legal issues, market access for goods, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, state-owned enterprises, technical barriers to trade and temporary entry of persons.