In Canada, the legislators’ letter was signed by Don Davies, the NDP international trade critic, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “The TPP covers issues that affect many areas of Canada’s economy and society—including several policy areas that have never been subject to trade agreements before,” said Davies of why he endorsed the letter. “In the interest of transparency and accountability, trade negotiation documents must be released to the public and in a meaningful way.” The Conservative government of Stephen Harper has said almost nothing about the TPP publicly or to the media, and will not release a cost-benefit assessment of the deal to the parliamentary trade committee. Any criticism of the deal, or the similarly intrusive and secretive Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, has been dismissed without meaningful arguments as "anti-trade". Today’s open letter followed approaches to senior politicians from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru who had expressed concern about the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations. Other signatories include the Vice-President of Peru, the trade spokesperson for Australia’s Green Party, and several former Cabinet ministers from Japan. But the letter is only the latest in a stream of calls by legislators in TPP countries for release of the texts over the past year. It also comes only a week after fair trade rallies were held in more than 50 communities across North America as part of an Intercontinental Day of Action Against the TPP and Corporate Globalization (see video). U.S. President Obama is feeling the heat even from within the Democratic party, which is not inclined to give him the "fast track" powers the administration feels it will need to pass the TPP with minimal delays in Congress.
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