Frustrated by perceived delays in releasing the complete finalized text of the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, a group of house Democrats led by Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) yesterday enlisted the help of Roxy the “secret TPP text-tracking” bloodhound for a press conference outside Congress.
Flanked by colleagues Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), also adamant critics of the TPP, Doggett blasted the “culture of secrecy” surrounding the trade pact and decried the administration for classifying the text of the 12-nation TPP, which was completed nearly a month ago “after more than seven years of closed-door negotiations.”
"Not even Congress, much less the press or public, are being allowed access to the secret TPP text,” the group said in a statement.
Doggett jokingly remarked that having a bloodhound on the case would help his group “follow the smell here” which he suggested would probably lead them down K-Street, an allusion to the thoroughfare best known for headquartering thousands of corporate lobbyists and special interest consultants.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro called on the White House to stop “swarming Capitol Hill” and campaigning around the country to promote the trade deal until it releases the full text. “Stop selling something that nobody but them knows about,” she said.
Meanwhile at the National Chicken Council, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack blamed the hold up in releasing the text on Canada. “I suspect it would have been very soon or perhaps already on the web ... but we have a new government in Canada and that new government obviously has to get up to speed on what was negotiated by the previous government,” Vilsack told poultry producers. “That may take a little time, which may delay the posting of this agreement on the web for a period of time.”
This of course is a patently ridiculous assertion considering that in the same Politico report it’s noted that legal officials from the 12 TPP countries are only today expected to be wrapping up a two-week meeting in Tokyo where the text was being legally “scrubbed” and prepared for publication.
Click here for a video of the press conference.