The White House is now facing another case of leaked information with the release on Wednesday of a trade document detailing the Obama administration’s negotiations.
The document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration’s trade objectives.
The leaked document reveals that a proposed trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region would controversially give broader political power to multinational corporations, reports The Root.
Until now the trade negotiations have been kept so secret that even members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, have complained about lack of access to the details of the negotiations.
“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a written statement.
According to Inquisitr, senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, is so angry over the blocked access that he is considering introducing legislation which will require President Obama to disclose to Congress the details of the negotiations.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has even leaked a separate document from the talkson his website.
Several other Senators are thinking of writing a letter to Ron Kirk, the top trade negotiator under Obama, demanding more disclosure.
Under the agreement that is now being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues, according to The Huff Post.
But, at the same time, foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal.
The international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings which contradicts campaign promises issued by Obama and the Democratic Party during the 2008 campaign”
“We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications.”
The leaked document is sure to outrage environmentalists, labor unions and financial reform advocates.
It says that the Administration is going to allow for rules which have been patently rejected by all three groups because they erode key protections provided by American law.
The new leak comes just after other leaks that have plagued the Obama administration.
It follows recent New York Times and Newsweek articles of classified national-security information regarding President Obama’s input on a terrorist “kill list” and cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear program that have spurred questions and criticism about White House policies.
Though the White House denies any leaking, last week Attorney General Eric Holder assigned two U.S. attorneys to lead investigations into the possible leaking of state secrets.
“These two highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Holder said in a statement.
“I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice, wherever it leads,” he said.
Liza Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, says that the Obama administration is currently in an awkward position.
“They can’t really say that they’re not concerned about the leaking of classified information, and this administration in particular has been very, very hard on unauthorized leaks — so it raises the specter of hypocrisy if it does not appear to be taking these instances very seriously,” she told The Root.
“But the reality is that administrations, for decades, have selectively released classified information to reporters as a matter of routine practice,” Goitein said.