Media Release: Jane Kelsey, Tuesday 3 April 2012
“Apologies to those who got excited by my April fool’s day announcement that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations were emerging from behind their shield of secrecy and the text would at last face democratic debate and scrutiny”, said Dr Jane Kelsey, who issued a press release to that effect on 1 April.
“Regrettably, the rest of the press release was true.”
The May and July rounds of the TPPA negotiations will apparently take place in the Dallas and the West Coast of the United States, respectively.
US officials say they want the text to be concluded in July.
But their aggressive demands on a wide raft of issues, from pharmaceuticals and agriculture to (lop-sided) restrictions on state-owned enterprises and the rights of investors to sue, are facing strong resistance from the other eight countries.
As host, the US Trade Representative will be able to set the agenda, chair the meetings and tailor “stakeholder” engagement to marginalise the critics from the US and abroad and provide abundant opportunities to its corporations to lobby.
“Sadly the prospect of democratic engagement with this process is becoming more remote by the day”, said Dr Kelsey.