Washington - The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to ease concerns on Capitol Hill about a proposed Pacific free trade agreement, promising lawmakers easier access to the draft text.
Critics have questioned secrecy around the 12-nation negotiations for a trade deal covering 40 percent of the world economy. Several members of Congress have complained about conditions put on access to negotiating texts.
The changes were announced at a Democratic caucus meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on currency manipulation, one of a series of briefings on key trade issues aimed at winning support for trade initiatives among Democrats.
Froman said the new measures would allow lawmakers to look at the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at their convenience, along with plain English chapter summaries.
“Today, working directly with Congress we have taken unprecedented additional measures to help members fully understand the benefits we are working to bring home for American workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers,” he said in a statement.