Environmental reporters sometimes cover claims that international trade treaties are used to circumvent US environmental laws and regulations. Trade law is a pretty obscure topic, and the secrecy that pervades trade policy makes covering it that much harder.
So it came as a welcome surprise when Federal District Judge Richard W. Roberts April 12, 2011, tossed out a claim by the US Trade Representative that some documents should remain secret on the grounds of "national security."
The Trade Representative had denied a Freedom of Information Act request by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) for documents related to the Chile-US Free Trade Agreement. The CIEL challenged that denial in court. The Trade Representative's office had claimed exemption from FOIA on national security grounds.
- "Court Rejects Agency’s National Security Claim," Secrecy News, Federation of American Scientists, April 22, 2011, by Steven Aftergood.