On Tuesday, a group of Peruvian members of Congress and analysts denounced the secret negotiations of the US led Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty – or TPP – as undemocratic and an attempt by elites to force decisions on Peru.
Together with 11 other countries, Peru has been negotiating TPP in secret, a trade agreement which could become the largest on the planet. The statements some of the contents of the treaty were leaked and the US Congress gave power to Barack Obama to negotiate the treaty via “fast-track” or without oversight.
Congressman Jaime Delgado is one of those denouncing the secrecy of the treaty. He believes that “what would be the healthiest move under these circumstances is to put all the cards on the table and generate a discussion and in that manner those who are negotiating can get the opinions from all the actors; not only from the benefiting businessmen but also from the sectors of civil society and national entrepreneurs who could be affected negatively from those types of measures."
Under the agreement, signatories of the TPP could be sued by private companies for not complying with the treaty. Since Peru already has bilateral free trade agreements with the great majority of countries included in the TPP, analysts are discussing why the country is further putting its sovereignty at risk and negotiating in secret.
Alejandra Alayza, a sociologist investigating the TPP negotiations, said that "by using a difficult language, negotiating behind closed doors, and making the documents confidential, they are assuming that what they are doing is not for the benefit of everyone but only for the few.”
Alayza added that “that reason they have to delineate the treaty between that small group of people that is going to benefit and is going to end up accumulating power, more capacity to control the market, and the capacity to control public policy."
If the TPP is signed, many civil society organizations are worried that the cost of medicines will increase because of intellectual property protections, environmental protection will be weakened and that it will tie the hands of the government when it comes to restricting imported unhealthy food.