Wednesday, July 4, 2012



Riddle – When is a TransPacific Partnership negotiator not a TransPacific Partnership negotiator? When he or she is Canadian or Mexico.

WTD is covering the week-and-a-half long TPP negotiators in San Diego, where the United States is snapping the whip – making negotiators work "around the clock" to start wrapping up as much as possible so they can provide a decent report to their leaders in mid-September at the Asia-Pacific Partnership leaders’ meeting in Vladivostok.

But where’s Canada; where’s Mexico?

When the nine TPP nations – of the United States, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei – "invited" the two big economies into the group in May, it was found later that the invitations were for the later in the year.

 But Canada and Mexico can’t even be observers. Nor, apparently, can they be stakeholders. Each formal round has hosted a semi-open event with interested stakeholders groups to show their wares and converse with interested delegations, the press and each other.

When WTD got here, we half expected that Ottawa and Mexico City would at least have a "table" at the stakeholder event. But neither flag is in sight.

(p.s. – The entire stateside staff of WTD – myself and my wife, Mary – is here to cover the event. It would have been very dangerous for me if I had left her behind in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. as the heat wave, with temperatures exceeding 95-plus degrees Fahrenheit and no air conditioning since the electricity has been off after a brief storm cut through the area almost a week ago. Thanks to the TPP and San Diego for saving my marriage!)

Jim Berger

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