Will the US Release the TPP Text Next Week?

One of the major issues with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the fact that there is no official public text. If reports are accurate, that could very well change next Wednesday.

For some, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has become an antonym for transparency. After years of negotiation, no text has been made available even after the announcement that the trade agreement has been finalized, the only way people can know what exactly is in the text is through leaks.

The complete lack of text has led to plenty of distortions in the debate surrounding the secret agreement. It has even led one supporter to take the bizarre position that no one should pay attention to any criticism towards the TPP given the text is not available and that any attack on the TPP is nothing more than an attack on trade in general:

at this point, political attacks on the TPP appear to be stealth attacks against all of our existing and future trade agreements.

If that’s what the deal’s critics really want, they should say so clearly and directly.

In reality, the fact that the fight against free trade has been reduced to this very narrow point shows the progress that has been made.

For those who actually have any idea what the TPP debate is like, you can almost hear the collective facepalm when statements like that are published. Any time any details are leaked, debates revolve around the points of concern raised. Assuming that being against the TPP automatically makes someone against trade is like saying being against Volkswagon’s decisions for their emissions scandal is merely a position against the vehicle industry and nothing more. It’s simply presenting a lie about where critics stand and attacking critics based on that lie.

A pollster who was clearly out to promote the TPP took the position that those who know what the TPP is about supports it:

Beck said he beleives the more people know about the TPP and realize the benefits, the more support there will be.

That statement may put into jeopardy the integrity of the poll in the first place given it almost suggests that there is an underlying agenda. The pollster apparently works for EKOS.

Regardless of the wild and out in left field positions some supporters of the TPP have taken, the fact remains that the TPP is being formulated in secret and that has caused some serious issues in the debate. All that may change because according to a report dated October 11, the US said that they intend on releasing the full text of the TPP within 30 days. If true, that puts the deadline to release the text to next Wednesday. If the US follows through on that promise, it would mark the first time the TPP has seen any hint of transparency ever.

It likely won’t quell the criticism on how this agreement came about, but it will allow people to debate on what the trade deal does without having to rely on leaks. whether various governments from around the world would allow for enough time to debate the merits of the TPP, well, that remains to be seen.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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