Today, TACD wrote to President Obama urging for more transparency in the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Our previous two letters addressed to his Trade Representative, Michael Froman, have fallen on deaf ears. We ask the President to instruct his Administration to share with the US and EU public the combined text versions of the negotiated chapters, as they are discussed, after each negotiation round. At the moment the public can read the EU legal text, but not when they are combined with the US text, which remains secret.
Pointing to our previous letters, which only received a formulaic and cosmetic response by the Office of the USTR, we ask for a more satisfactory follow-up. Transparency to us means public access to the actual legal texts that are the basis of the negotiations, and not just different outreach exercises. We highlight many models and precedents for disclosing negotiating texts in international contexts. In addition, we underline that making both sides’ texts publicly available can be good for the content of the negotiations and enhance legitimacy for the controversial trade deal.