WikiLeaks offers $100,000 bounty for Asian trade pact pushed by Obama
By Krista Hughes
WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) - Whistleblower website WikiLeaks offered a $100,000 bounty for copies of a Pacific trade pact that is a central plank of President Barack Obama's diplomatic pivot to Asia on Tuesday.
WikiLeaks, which has published leaked chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating text before, started a drive to crowdsource money for the reward, just as U.S. unions launched a new push to make the text public.
"The transparency clock has run out on the TPP. No more secrecy. No more excuses. Let's open the TPP once and for all," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement.
Nine hours after the campaign was launched, WikiLeaks' website was showing $25,835 pledged by more than 100 people.
The text of the TPP, which is still under negotiation and would boost the flow of goods between 12 nations from Japan to Chile, is a classified document. The U.S. Trade Representative has increased availability of the text to lawmakers, but critics complain there is still not enough oversight.
Union group AFL-CIO led a march on the USTR office in Washington to demand to read the text, but said it found the doors locked.
Under legislation awaiting approval from the House of Representatives, the text of the TPP will be publicly available for 60 days before it is signed by the president.
But it is still unclear when the House will debate so-called fast-track legislation granting the White House power to speed trade deals through Congress, although House majority leader Kevin McCarthy has said a vote is likely this month. Continuación...