Public Statement: Chile must make transparent the TPP negotiations

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English translation of a public statement published in the December 8, 2013 edition of El Mercurio newspaper. The statement was signed by 34 representatives and 15 senators, calling on the government  to halt and make transparent the TPP negotiations. It was also signed by the representatives-elect Gabriel Boric, Maya Fernandez and Giorgio Jackson, as well as important Chilean figures, such as journalist Faride Zerán, sociologist Manuel Antonio Garreton, artist Gonzalo Diaz and poet Raúl Zurita, among many other academics and civil society representatives.

  1. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP) is a trade agreement that is being negotiated by the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, and the Latin American countries of Mexico, Peru and Chile, which seeks to create a free trade area in the Asia Pacific, incorporating specific regulations in such broad areas as services, agriculture, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, investment, rules of origin, competition, labor and environmental standards.
  2. Despite the importance of the TPP, the government has kept under reserve the negotiating texts and has not made explicit the political and economic effects it could have on the country. This situation, which has provoked reactions from academia, industry, the National Congress and civil society, should be revised. The Government should make transparent the negotiation and provide information about the specific impacts of TPP.
  3. Chile has signed free trade with all countries that are party to the TPP negotiations, which suggests that commercial benefits will be zero or marginal. Moreover, in fact, Chile is renegotiating the benefits already achieved through other trade agreements, such as regulatory flexibilities or intellectual property provisions referred to in the FTA with the United States.
  4. The chapter on intellectual property, leaked by Wikileaks few weeks ago, shows that costs for Chile are far from marginal and force us to reopen issues on which Congress has recently commented. Such is the case, for example, in the case of intellectual property rules related to the Internet, exceptions and limitations to copyright, rights of consumers, pharmaceutical industrial property, etc.
  5. The development of any public policy on labor, environment, health, medicines, intellectual property, Internet, competition, investment, among others covered by the TPP, should be openly discussed under standards of democratic deliberation and transparency, which this negotiation does not have, and should always take into consideration the reality and the social, cultural and economic diversity of our country.
  6. The Chilean Government must respect the separation of powers of the State and, under no circumstances, should yield, curtail or restrict the exercise of the legislative function of domestic entities in other countries, as is proposed in the implementing rules of the TPP.
  7. Finally, a treaty with the magnitude of the TPP must be negotiated without haste, with the maximum public discussion possible and with a comprehensive review of its scope and implications, assessing the long-term costs and benefits, in order to protect national interests, the regional integration processes, and our foreign relations with other trading partners such as China, India and Brazil, which are not part of the TPP.
  8. Therefore, we join the call made by the Senate in August  of this year and request that the President halt and make transparent the TPP negotiations, and open a public, technical and political debate about the implications that such an agreement may have for Chile.


Signed:

Senators (Upper Chamber): Isabel Allende (PS), Carlos Cantero (Ind), Francisco Chahuán (RN), Camilo Escalona (PS), Guido Girardi (PPD), José Antonio Gómez (PRSD), Antonio Horvath (RN), Ricardo Lagos Weber (PPD), Juan Pablo Letelier (PS), Pedro Muñoz (PS), Alejandro Navarro (MAS), Jorge Pizarro (DC), Ximena Rincón (DC), Fulvio Rossi (PS) y Eugenio Tuma (PPD).

Representatives (Lower Chamber): Enrique Accorsi (PPD), Sergio Aguiló (IC), René Alinco
(Ind), Osvaldo Andrade (PS), Cristián Campos (PPD), Lautaro Carmona
(PC), Juan Luis Castro (PS), Eduardo Cerda (DC), Guillermo Ceroni (PPD), Alfonso De Urresti (PS), Marcelo Díaz (PS), Marcos Espinosa (PRSD), Fidel Espinoza (PS), Ramón Farías (PPD), Carolina Goic (DC), Rodrigo González (PPD), Hugo Gutiérrez (PC), Enrique Jaramillo (PPD), Carlos Abel Jarpa (PRSD), Tucapel Jiménez (PPD), Luis Lemus (PS), Fernando Meza (PRSD), Manuel Monsalve (PS), Carlos Montes (PS), Adriana Muñoz (PPD), Clemira Pacheco (PS), Denise Pascal (PS), José Pérez (PRSD), Ricardo Rincón (DC), Alberto Robles (PRSD), Marcelo Schilling (PS), Guillermo Teillier (PC), Patricio Vallespín (DC) y Ximena Vidal (PPD).

Representatives-Elect: Gabriel Boric (Ind), Maya Fernández (PS) y Giorgio Jackson (RD).

Civil Society: Enzo Abbagliati, Silvia Aguilera, Daniel Álvarez, Michael Álvarez, Manuel Baquedano, Alejandro Barros, José Luis Cárdenas, Hernán Calderón, Alberto Cerda, Miguel Crispi, Pablo Contreras, Sebastián Depolo, Álvaro Díaz, Gonzalo Díaz, Carlos Furche, Manuel Antonio Garretón, Andrea Gutiérrez, Jorge Heine, Felipe Heusser, José Huerta, Claudia Lagos, Juan Carlos Lara, Sara Larraín, Flavia Liberona, Luis Maira, Carlos Mladinic, Juan Pablo Mañalich, Salvador Millaleo, Carlos Moffat, Mané Nett, Juan Pablo Orrego, Marcela Ortiz, Patricia Peña, Paz Peña, Nicolás Rebolledo, Pablo Rodríguez Arias, Andrés Romero, Claudio Ruiz, Wilson Sanhueza, Javier Sánchez, Carolina Sepúlveda, Paulo Slachevsky, José Ignacio Stark, Mauricio Tapia, Juan Trímboli, Francisco Vera, Verónica Vukasovic, Faride Zerán, Raúl Zurita.


 

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