The Secret Trade Deal for Europe

The European Commission is taking steps to make sure their secret trade deal stays secret.

It is a complete mockery of freedom and self-rule for laws to be made in secret and then imposed on an ignorant populace who is never allowed to know about them until after they are ratified. Yet that is precisely what we got in the United States with the Trade Promotion Authority, which was passed by Republicans and Democrats combined against the American people. As one of our writers said, in bitter sarcasm:

Yes it is so shocking that a secret trade pact would include things that are harmful to the populace…

Because deals hammered out in secret—by an unknown number of high-priced lobbyists—are always good for the average citizen.

Right.

But it is happening in Europe too. The Independent reports, “TTIP controversy: Secret trade deal can only be read in secure ‘reading room’ in Brussels.”

The European Commission is making the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal even more secret, introducing a new rule that means politicians can only view the text in a secure ‘reading room’ in Brussels.

An investigation by German news site Correct!v has revealed that the Commission is cracking down on TTIP security following a series of leaks, purportedly by EU member states who had accessed information on the deal electronically.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said that no more reports on TTIP negotiations will be sent to Member States because of “important vulnerabilities in the last rounds of negotiations.”

Officials were told of this change in policy on July 24th at a meeting in Brussels in which the Commission explained that the documents had “been submitted to databases of [member states’] national parliaments” meaning that “hundreds of people have actually uncontrolled access”.

And so the Brussels ‘reading room’ appears to be the solution, where national and EU representatives will have to go if they want to find out what’s happening to the TTIP text.

The problem here is that there is no equality before the law. These trade deals will help some industries and hurt others. The only way to keep the ones who will suffer from objecting and derailing the process is to keep them from learning anything about the deal until it is too late.