(Mark Wu – Finanical Times)
Many Americans who think free trade can be good for them nevertheless doubt whether the same can be said for the international trade agreements that are actually being written, often in conditions of secrecy.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that the US is negotiating with 11 Pacific Rim countries, is a case in point. Beyond the few paragraphs on the White House website, most Americans have little idea what it contains. Even members of Congress have to go to a secure room in the basement to read the latest negotiating text.
The White House argues that a period of secrecy is necessary, to afford negotiators flexibility to cut deals. Once we have an agreement, officials say, there will be plenty of time for the public to debate its merits — and Congress can reject it. Yet sceptics are not convinced... Click here to read more.