Keith Chu (202) 224-4515
Wyden Welcomes Release of Summaries of U.S. Negotiating Objectives for Pacific Trade Agreement
WASHINGTON –Sen. Ron Wyden, ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, welcomed the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) release of new summaries of negotiating objectives in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These summaries were required under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill Wyden co-authored, which became law earlier this year.
“I’ve said it for years – if you believe in trade, and you want more of it, then why have secrecy about trade agreements?” Wyden said. “These summaries, coupled with the creation of USTR’s first-ever Chief Transparency Officer, will begin to reduce secrecy and bring sunlight to trade negotiations. I’m glad USTR moved quickly to make these available to the public after putting in place the new Chief Transparency Officer.”
USTR has provided more detailed information on its objectives in a range of areas, including:
- Indicating for the first time that it is seeking additional commitments for trading partners to have laws governing minimum wages, acceptable hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
- A new description of customs objectives, including that it is seeking to ensure that customs penalties are administered in an impartial and transparent manner, and that countries avoid conflicts of interest in administering penalties.
- More detailed information on goals with respect to intellectual property rights, such as that it is seeking to close the ability of counterfeit products to come into the United States and enter the supply chain, ensure that a U.S. company can enforce its intellectual property rights against enterprises owned by foreign governments, and improve the system for searching and registering trademarks and patents across borders.
- New information with respect to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, such as indicating that it is seeking to include tough customs provisions and provisions on rules of origin to help combat illegal transshipments from third countries, including those of seafood.
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