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Stop the Secrecy

EFF: The TPP further restricts stakeholder participation

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 00:00 -- OpenMedia

The next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations will be taking place in just a week's time, running from September 6-15 in Leesburg, Virginia. As part of this round of negotiations, there has been an allocated time for "Stakeholder Presentations". These presentations are far from what's needed to allow citizen voices to be heard, and now it looks like we're going to be restricted even further.

Stay tuned as we continue working on a way to get all 100,000+ signees of the StopTheTrap.net petition heard.

Article by Maira Sutton for EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with several other civil society organizations and concerned individuals, will be in Leesburg, Virginia in early September for the 14th round of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). On September 9th, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) is hosting its "Direct Stakeholder Event." This consists of both a tabling event, where public interest groups, industry groups, private companies, and others will sit alongside each other at tables in a designated room outside the official secret meeting area, as well as a public "stakeholder presentation" where representatives from various organizations and companies can discuss an issue of their choosing relating to the content of the TPP.

These so-called "Direct Stakeholder Events" are a joke. It is a way for the USTR to take photos of public interest group representatives and claim that they are providing opportunities for public participation, when in fact, they continue to negotiate TPP in secret without releasing any of the text or proposals for this powerful international agreement.

The latest update from the USTR would be laughable if it weren't so depressing.

We just received an email from the USTR indicating that they are going to cut down the already inadequate 15-minute time allotment for our stakeholder presentation, to a mere eight minutes. In addition, they will all be held in four separate rooms. So not only will the presenters have barely any time to discuss their specific concerns with the agreement, it will literally be impossible for negotiators to attend all the presentations they would be interested in hearing since they will all be held simultaneously in different locations. Moreover, this entire round of negotiations will last 10 full days, and so it seems especially odd that they would need to cut down time for public participation this drastically. Read more»

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