WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the Obama Administration’s refusal to make the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement fully accessible to policy advisors with the requisite security clearances, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that he will block the nominee for Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR).
“The Administration would rather sacrifice a nominee for a key post than improve transparency of the largest trade agreement ever negotiated,” Brown said. “This deal could affect more the 40 percent of our global economy, but even seasoned policy advisors with the requisite security clearance can’t review text without being accompanied by a Member of Congress. It shouldn’t be easier for multinational corporations to get their hands on trade text than for public servants looking out for American workers and American manufacturers.”
In November, Marisa Lago was nominated by President Obama to be Deputy United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador, in the Office of the USTR. While her nomination hearing was held in July and she was confirmed by the Senate Finance Committee in early August, she must still be confirmed by the full Senate. Last week, Brown told USTR that he would place a hold on her nomination unless the text of the TPP was made available to policy advisors with requisite security clearances, without those advisors having to be accompanied by a Member of Congress. Brown asked for the text to be made fully accessible to those with proper security clearances by Aug. 14 at 12pm.
Brown pressed USTR Froman on TPP transparency during a Finance Committee hearing in April.