The Obama administration could be selling out environmental protections in order to cement a complex international trade deal, according to new documents revealed on Wednesday by WikiLeaks. Today, the whistle-blowing organization published the Environment Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a bilateral agreement that has been in the works since 2010 — confirming critics' fears that the plan will be bad news for the planet rks since 2010 — confirming critics' fears that the plan will be bad news for the planet.
The TPP would establish a trade agreement between 12 countries — the U.S., Japan and a number of other Pacific Rim nations. An expansion of the 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, the TPP aims to promote free trade between more nations in a move that would ideally boost each country's economy.
The trade negotiations were cloaked in secrecy, however, until WikiLeaks published the deal's Intellectual Property chapter back in November. At the time, IT specialists voiced concern that the provisions would boost corporate interests over individual rights, much like the disputed anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA that were ultimately shut down.
Now, WikiLeaks has unveiled the proposed environmental chapter, and says the Obama Administration's environmental demands are weak:
When compared against other TPP chapters, the Environment Chapter is noteworthy for its absence of mandated clauses or meaningful enforcement measures. The dispute settlement mechanisms it creates are cooperative instead of binding; there are no required penalties and no proposed criminal sanctions. With the exception of fisheries, trade in 'environmental' goods and the disputed inclusion of other multilateral agreements, the Chapter appears to function as a public relations exercise.