We've discussed before some of the troubling aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Here's another one: the fact it's being negotiated in secret. As a Times op-ed argues,
[T]he secrecy of trade negotiations does not just hide information from the public. It creates a funnel where powerful interests congregate, absent the checks, balances and necessary hurdles of the democratic process.
Free-trade agreements are not just about imports, tariffs or overseas jobs. Agreements bring complex national regulatory systems together, such as intellectual property law, with implications for free speech, privacy and public health. . . .
Secrecy has real costs. Because the negotiating process combines a general shield from the public with privileged access for industry advisers, the substance of American free trade agreements does not represent truly national interests. It represents the interests of those members of industry who sit on the office’s Industry Trade Advisory Committees, which have regular access to negotiating information.
Read the full piece here.