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Wed Jun 13, 2012, 07:52 PM

The "Good of Obama" and why we elected him revealed in this post: [View all]

Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises

by Zach Carter
Obama Trade

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has loosened some of its most stringent secrecy policies surrounding a controversial set of free trade negotiations, but the Democratic chair of a Senate subcommittee on international trade is demanding far greater transparency provisions -- and garnering Republican support for his effort.

In late May, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, introduced new legislation that would require the White House to share trade documents with all members of Congress and their qualified staff. The move was largely a symbolic act of protest against the secrecy the White House has imposed on a new trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The agency responsible for trade negotiations -- the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative -- had denied Wyden office access to any of the draft documents involved in the trade pact, offering an unusual legal argument that only a handful of members of Congress were permitted to view them. After Wyden introduced his legislation, however, USTR partially relented, allowing Wyden to see the documents, but not his staff.

That's better than nothing, Wyden spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer told HuffPost, but not helpful from a practical standpoint, given that congressional staff perform much of the legislative work on Capitol Hill.

"I would point out how insulting it is for them to argue that members of Congress are to personally go over to USTR to view the trade documents," Hoelzer said. "An advisor at Halliburton or the MPAA is given a password that allows him or her to go on the USTR website and view the TPP agreement anytime he or she wants."

The general public and most nonprofit organizations have no access to the documents, although a number of corporate officials can see them.



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Reply The "Good of Obama" and why we elected him revealed in this post: [View all]
KoKo Jun 2012 OP
Octafish Jun 2012 #1
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MannyGoldstein Jun 2012 #2
OnyxCollie Jun 2012 #3
Marr Jun 2012 #5
HiPointDem Jun 2012 #6
woo me with science Jun 2012 #7
limpyhobbler Jun 2012 #8