Our program at Public Citizen has twice worked with WikiLeaks to pierce a veil of secrecy at major international economic negotiations and reveal draft rules that would compromise access to cancer treatment and other needed medicines, empower Monsanto against small farmers, and reduce Internet freedom. Read our analysis and press coverage from 2014 (press release at bottom; includes articles in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Forbes) and 2013 (includes TV & FAIR radio interviews).
The collaborations reflect on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which we have tracked closely since 2010. The negotiations among twelve countries are closed, and we’ve been turned away or thrown out of meetings several times. But we have built relationships with most negotiators and government advisors anyway, by providing useful analysis of deeply technical issues, working hard and earning trust over time.
It’s a beautiful story in its way. A few brave negotiators from small and developing countries have stood up, consistently, to the most powerful government on earth, and several of the most powerful industries — the pharmaceutical industry, the content lobby (Hollywood, recording companies, publishers) and big tobacco. They’ve turned history on its head, and an expected easy victory for those commercial interests into a real debate about the rules that will govern the information economy in the 21st century. If the negotiations conclude — which is now far from a certainty — any agreement will be less harmful to public interests as a result. And countries will have some room to make the rules that are in their best interest.
There’s much more to do. Lobbyists have not relented for a moment. And we keep at it.
Read the WikiLeaks page about the Trans-Pacific Partnership texts.