Sanders Contrasts U.S. Trade Secrecy to EU Transparency

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today challenged the trade representative for the United States to follow the example of the European Union and stop hiding details of a proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

“It is time for American trade negotiators to stop operating in the shadows and come clean with details of an agreement that would almost certainly throw more American workers out of jobs and shift more manufacturing to low-wage countries overseas,” Sanders said.

In Brussels today, the European Commission today published documents setting out EU proposals for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that it is negotiating with the United States. The commission also posted an online guide to the document.

Sanders cited the Europeans’ openness in renewing his call for U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to at least turn over to the senator the full text of a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that has been negotiated in secret with input from corporations which stand to profit on the deal.

Earlier this week, Sanders wrote a letter to Froman asking for the document that Congress could soon be asked to approve.

“It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it,” Sanders said in the letter.  “In my view, this is simply unacceptable.”