by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 13th 2012 8:07pm
The USTR's handling of public interest access to TPP negotiators has bounced around over the last few negotiating sessions, with many suggesting that last months' meetings in San Diego were actually handled somewhat decently. However, with the upcoming negotiating round in Virginia, apparently there's no more time to be talking to anyone representing the public interest. The oddly named "Direct Stakeholder Engagement" period is from 11am to 2pm on Sunday, September 9th and that's it. So not only have they reduced the length from previous sessions, but they put it at the same time as lunch. So if these groups actually want to talk to negotiators, they might want to serve some food... Either way, it really feels like the whole "stakeholders" sessions are just the USTR's way of saying "see? we're letting people in!" But, of course, that's completely different from real transparency.
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