This week President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced that Canada and Mexico have been invited to join the secret negotiations aimed at establishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In an announcement published Monday on the USTR website, Kirk wrote:
We are delighted to invite Mexico, our neighbor and second largest export market, to join the TPP negotiations. Mexico’s interest in the TPP reflects its recognition that the TPP presents the most promising pathway to boosting trade across the Asia Pacific and to encouraging regional trade integration. We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders as we move forward.
That statement was followed by a similar one on Tuesday welcoming Canada to the TPP fold:
Inviting Canada to join the TPP negotiations presents a unique opportunity for the United States to build upon this already dynamic trading relationship. Through TPP, we are bringing the relationship with our largest trading partner into the 21st century. We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders regarding Canada’s entry into the TPP as we move closer to a broad-based, high-standard trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.
Notably, in both statements Ambassador Kirk places the approval of “domestic stakeholders” (read: large corporations) on a level with that of the Congress. It is precisely this exalting of big business that has troubled many of the people’s representatives in Congress.
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Photo: President Barack Obama with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk after he signed the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 in the White House, Aug. 11, 2010: AP Images