U.S. Trade Talks: Environment Takes a Hit

The New York Times reveals that “the Obama administration is retreating from previous demands of strong international environmental protections in order to reach agreement on [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] trade deal that is a pillar of President Obama’s strategic shift to Asia, according to documents obtained by WikiLeaks, environmentalists and people close to the contentious trade talks.”

“As it stands now, the documents … show that the disputes could undo key global environmental protections  — including legally binding pollution control requirements and logging regulations and a ban on harvesting sharks’ fins — to advance a trade deal that is a top priority for Mr. Obama.”

“Since the trade talks began, lawmakers and advocacy groups have assailed the negotiators for keeping the process secret, and WikiLeaks has been among the most critical voices.”

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