Legislators want TPP draft available to public
The signatories include political party leaders and legislators who currently or previously held senior political office in their national governments.
In 2009 the parties to the negotiations agreed that the text for the agreement would not be released until the negotiations are concluded, and all documents other than the text will be held in confidence until four years after the agreement comes into force, or the last round of negotiations if the agreement is not concluded.
The joint letter of legislators states: "We, the undersigned legislators from countries involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, call on the parties to the negotiation to publish the draft text of the agreement before any final agreement is signed with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate."
Oxfam and Article 19, the global organisations who jointly published the letter today, are amongst many NGOs who have raised concerns about transparency and accountability with negotiators.
Legislators from the United States of America, Mexico, Australia and Chile have also earlier made similar statements seeking release of the text before it is signed. The Ministers of Trade from the twelve participating countries in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will convene in Singapore from 22 to 25 February 2014. According to the parties the negotiations are entering their final stages. ■