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Earlier this week the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement invited stakeholders interested in the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to a briefing at the USTR. Public Citizen, AFL-CIO, Humane Society International, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, and Public Knowledge were among the organizations represented at the briefing. Assistant U. S. Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Barbara Weisel led the discussion of the panel. The other speakers included the Deputy Assistant U. S. Trade Representatives for Southeast Asia & the Pacific Daniel Watson, for Labor Affairs Timothy Wedding, and for Intellectual Property and Innovation Probir Mehta. They were also joined by Senior Procurement Negotiator Jean Grier, and the Directors for International Environmental & Conservation Policy Kelly Milton, for Services and Trade Negotiations Todd Nissen, and for Investment Affairs Daniel Bahar.
The panel apprised the assembled stakeholders of recent happenings with regard to TPP negotiations, such as the inclusion of Mexico into negotiations, and the status of discussions with Canada. (The meeting occurred just before the announcement that Canada, too, would be joining the negotiating countries.)
After an overview from AUSTR Weisel, stakeholders had the opportunity to ask her and the panel questions and present any concerns. The panelists addressed inquiries about the schedule of the San Diego negotiations, the environmental implications of TPP, and transparency. Finally, the panelists provided attendees with updates regarding specific chapters of TPP, such as the environment and investment components.
The next round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will take place in San Diego, California from July 2nd through July 10th.