Warren on Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday voiced her opposition to President Barack Obama’s top international trade nominee because of a secretive free trade agreement.
“I am deeply concerned about the transparency record of the U.S. Trade Representative and with one ongoing trade agreement in particular — the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” she said on the Senate floor.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been negotiated behind closed-doors for years by trade representatives from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Though the free trade agreement could have wide ranging consequences on workers and consumers, the public only knows a few details of the treaty thanks to leaked documents.
“I have heard the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representative’s policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant,” Warren explained. “In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. 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 Senate confirmed Michael Froman as the new United States Trade Representative by a 93-4 vote. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) joined Warren in voting no.
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