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The Council of Canadians urges North American leaders to publish TPP text, democratize NAFTA-plus trade talks

Petition launched to amplify legislators’ call for TPP transparency

Ottawa – North American leaders meeting in Mexico today for a NAFTA summit should agree to publish the secret negotiating texts of the NAFTA-plus Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, to which they are all parties, and start to negotiate all new trade deals in public, says the Council of Canadians. The organization is launching a public petition in Canada today to demand an end to TPP secrecy, as called for by legislators in seven of the 12 TPP negotiating countries last week.

“There can be no honest talk of improving NAFTA while all three countries are busy making it worse in a Trans-Pacific Partnership that will, for all intents and purposes, replace the North American agreement,” says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with The Council of Canadians. “From every leaked text, it’s clear the TPP will just entrench NAFTA’s corporate privileges and an unsustainable trade model that is getting in the way of addressing poverty, inequality and climate change. If North American leaders wanted to do something truly important for trade on the continent, they would come out of the dark and open up the negotiating process to public input.”

On February 12, legislators in seven of the 12 countries negotiating the TPP sent the same message to TPP governments. Their joint statement pronounced: “We, the undersigned legislators from countries involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, call on the Parties to the negotiation to publish the draft text of the Agreement before any final agreement is signed with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate.”

In Canada, the statement was endorsed by the federal NDP and the Green Party of Canada.

“It is the simplest of demands for democracy on a TPP deal that threatens to undermine the very notion of the public good, by giving corporations more power to undermine public policy,” says Trew. “That’s why we’re launching a petition directed at Canada’s international trade minister, Ed Fast, and the parliamentary trade committee members during today’s North American leaders’ summit. We need to amplify this simple demand to expose the TPP and give the public a say before it is signed.”

To read and sign the petition:

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