Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is calling on the Obama administration to release the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, now that Pacific nations have reached an agreement in principle on the pact.
News came early Monday that eleven Pacific Rim nations and the U.S. had reached a milestone in the negotiation of what would be the biggest regional trade deal in history.
Connecticut's Third District Representative, Rosa DeLauro, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the deal, said she's deeply disappointed that an agreement in principle has been reached without releasing details to the American people.
"The administration has put big business first, workers, communities and small businesses last," DeLauro said.
DeLauro said she and her congressional colleagues were supposed to be able to view the agreement, but even that effort at transparency has been inadequate.
"They have failed to update the available drafts, making them useless," she told members of the media. "We've heard about side agreements on labor -- members of congress have been prevented from seeing any of them. So we, like you, have had to rely on leaks to tell us what's in the agreement."
What DeLauro has heard, she said, is disturbing. She believes the TPP will force American workers into competition with much lower wage economies, eventually sending jobs overseas. She said the TPP contains no action on currency manipulation by other nations, and it may threaten food safety by allowing foreign corporations to challenge U.S. regulations.
DeLauro said her best hope is that the upcoming presidential contest will throw the spotlight on the agreement, and lead Congress to vote against the deal.
The Obama administration says achieving such a landmark agreement gives the U.S. leverage over commerce standards in the region, and potentially reins in Chinese influence.