President Barack Obama’s administration should release documents the U.S. and 10 other Pacific-region nations are using as they negotiate a new trade agreement, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said.
In a letter to Michael Froman, Obama’s nominee to lead the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the Massachusetts lawmaker said releasing details of what is being considered by the parties would give citizens a chance to evaluate the deal before negotiations are completed.
“I appreciate the willingness of the USTR to make various documents available for review by members of Congress, but I do not believe that is a substitute for more robust public transparency,” Warren wrote to Froman, who is now an assistant to the president. “If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”
The letter, dated yesterday, was provided to Bloomberg. It doesn’t link the request to Froman’s Senate pending confirmation.
Froman, 50, has been nominated to lead U.S. negotiations on the two largest trade deals in American history. U.S. officials have said they intend to reach an agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year. That accord, with Japan soon to join, would link a region that generates about $26 trillion in annual economic output, making it the largest pact of its kind in history. The U.S. has separately begun negotiations on a deal with the European Union.
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