TPP Still Secret, Congress Vote Might Be Delayed

Dave Johnson

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is complete, but we still are not allowed to know what is in it.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has called on the President to release the text of TPP to the public. The Hill has the story, in “Trumka calls for immediate release of TPP text“:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote a letter to President Obama arguing that stakeholders, lawmakers and the American public need to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to start what is expected to be a long process of evaluating the deal brokered by the United States and 11 other nations.

House and Senate Democrats have made similar appeals since the pact was brokered a week ago during a final round of negotiations in Atlanta.

Trumka said now that the talks are concluded he sees no reason to delay the public release of the TPP text after years of waiting for full access to the agreement’s details.

As soon as the public can read the text of TPP they can begin organizing opposition, if they decide opposition is warranted. By withholding the text until the last possible moment the public has less time to organize.

Apparently the administration wants to use this time before the public can read the agreement for itself to try to spin what they think about it. For example, even though the agreement is still secret, President Obama used his Saturday weekly address to push for it. You can read his remarks at “Weekly Address: Writing the Rules for a Global Economy.”

Also, The U.S. Trade Representative’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement is trying to get academics to help “expand the conversation” around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the public. We have published a copy of one such solicitation, in which a professor is told that the office would be “delighted to set up a call if you are interested in writing an op-ed, writing a blog post, doing research, or being on background for reporters – to highlight the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

Intellectual Property Chapter Leaked To WikiLeaks

Meanwhile, TPP’s intellectual property rights chapter has leaked to WikiLeaks. This will give the public some extra time to analyze it.

WikiLeaks is offering the following analysis:

● Expert Analysis: “Ambiguity Leads to Fallacy: Biologics Exclusivity in the Trans-Pacific Partnership” (PDF, HTML).

● Expert Analysis: “Pharmaceutical Provisions in the TPP” (PDF, HTML).

● Expert Analysis: “TPP Transition Periods on Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Rules” (PDF, HTML).

● Expert Analysis: “International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV91)” (PDF, HTML).

● Expert Analysis: “Propiedad intelectual en el Tratado Transpacífico” (PDF, HTML)

● Expert Analysis: “Public Citizen – WikiLeaks Publication of Complete, Final TPP Intellectual Property” (PDF, HTML)

In addition,

● ZDNet offers “WikiLeaks: ISPs to hand over copyright infringer details under TPP.”

● Conservative outlet Daily Caller, “Little Known Element Of TPP Allows Governments To Take, Destroy Citizens’ Devices.”

● Boing Boing, “Leaked (final?) TPP Intellectual Property chapter spells doom for free speech online.”

Congress Vote Delay To After Election?

There are rumors that TPP’s consideration by Congress might be delayed until after the 2016 election, in the “lame duck” session. Politico’s Morning Trade reported:

TPP BOUND FOR LAME DUCK? A congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is most likely to be put on ice until after the 2016 elections, leaving it for a lame-duck session, according to two senior GOP staffers, report POLITICO’s Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan.

The message of Mike Sommers, Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff, and Hazen Marshall, policy director for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), at a Ripon Society meeting Wednesday was “TPP is dead until the lame duck,” according to one attendee. The White House is trying to work with congressional leaders on timing, Marshall said.

The Zero Hour With Richard Eskow

Meanwhile I had a conversation about TPP with Richard Eskow on his Zero Hour show this past weekend:

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