It took a Peruvian newspaper (Andina) to tell us that investment negotiators from 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, including Canada, will be in Vancouver today through Sunday for an inter-sessional meeting before the July full round of TPP talks in Malaysia. Otherwise, we may never have known the meeting was happening. It’s hardly surprising why 36 freshman members of the U.S. Congress just complained to the Obama administration about the level of secrecy in the TPP.
Did the Harper government plan on mentioning the meeting? According to Ipolitics.ca:
Despite it being the first time negotiators have gathered in Canada, however, the mini-round wasn’t publicized by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade – only making it likelier to fuel ongoing criticism of the secrecy surrounding the TPP.
It’s also unknown at this point whether or not there is any Canadian stakeholder participation in the Vancouver inter-sessional negotiations.
Ipolitics writer BJ Siekierski followed up on the article in a tweet to @alexpensato: “I’ve just been told the government will issue a press release on the 16th — when the round is over…”
So did the Harper government jump into action when people noticed or was this press release planned from the beginning? We’ll never know.
OpenMedia.ca is using the quiet TPP negotiating meeting in Vancouver to encourage people to sign the Fair Deal Coalition statement. If you haven’t done so yet, you can here.
And if anyone figures out where the TPP investment talks are happening, could you let us know? We might want to say hello.