What the Public Doesn't Know About Treaties Won't Hurt the Corporations
If you are looking for yet another category of environmental information that the U.S. public is not allowed to know about, try international trade agreements.
A recent court decision — one that got little attention from the news media — upheld the federal government's authority to keep secret some information about the health and environmental impacts of trade treaties. A federal appeals court on June 7, 2013, overturned a lower court's ruling in favor of openness. The case was Center for International Environmental Law v. U.S. Trade Representative. The Center had sought a document outlining the U.S. position on how health and environment in the U.S. would be affected by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now being negotiated.
The whole dispute is clearly explained in a recent article by the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch), which includes links to further information.
- "Transparency and Trade Agreements: If the Public Wouldn't Like It, Don't Sign It," Center for Effective Government, July 2, 2013.