Froman fails to get political level Trans Pacific trade agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the latest round of Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations concluded in Bali, Indonesia, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman failed to get the “political level” agreement that he sought. This should is not a surprise. The negotiating parties are not even close to agreement on major elements of the TPP legal text.
Most of the other parties oppose the U.S. text for an environment chapter, although that is the one U.S. negotiating objective that has merit. Negotiations are stalled on the intellectual property chapter, including the whole of the patent section, which includes outrageous U.S. demands for protection of patents on plant and animal life forms. Nor is there agreement on important elements of the worst U.S. proposal, a TPP investment chapter that would allow wealthy corporations and investors to claim damages in the millions or billions in compensation for the costs and lost business opportunities resulting from new environmental, climate, and other public interest regulations. The list goes on.
Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth U.S., issued this statement on the conclusion of the Bali round of TPP negotiations: “The Trans Pacific Partnership Leaders statement omits any reference to a ‘political level agreement.’ No deal is even close on much of the text of the Trans Pacific trade deal. The negotiations were much ado about nothing. And, it was arrogant of Michael Froman to presume that he could push sovereign negotiating partners into proclaiming a political level agreement in principle, thus binding them publically to reach a future agreement on text. This would be like closing on a new home purchase without reading the terms of the mortgage. Such heavy-handed negotiating tactics only serve to diminish the reputation of the United States and President Obama for fair dealing.”
Click here to read a full press backgrounder on TPP negotiations and environmental issues.
Click here to read Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders Statement, October 8, 2013.
Click here to read report on U.S. demand for “political level agreement” on TPP.