Trans Pacific trade ministers’ declaration suggests no breakthrough
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiations, held for three days behind closed doors in Sydney, Australia, have concluded with no indication of a breakthrough. A press statement issued today by the trade ministers from the United States and 10 other countries merely repeated the same public relations generalities about “significant progress,” with few specifics.
The participants in the secretive negotiations in Sydney included Japan, Vietnam, the Sultanate of Brunei and eight other Pacific nations.
Bill Waren, Senior trade analyst for Friends of the Earth, made the following comment:
We know that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is unlikely to do enough to prevent trade in illegal timber and wildlife, and it would definitely undercut sensible safeguards related to food safety, global warming, and environmental protection generally. Negotiators have provided no evidence that the Sydney talks addressed these flaws. Also, they have apparently failed to address key concerns raised by congressional critics, such as greater access for U.S. agricultural goods to Japan and alleged currency manipulation. If these issues are not addressed, Congress is unlikely to pass Fast Track legislation. Without Fast Track authority, talks will probably continue stalling, as other countries balk at overbearing U.S. demands on a range of issues.