Senators slam Obama administration's lack of transparency in trade negotiations

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“This committee of all people should have the kind of access that is already provided to others,” Crapo added.

Panel chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the negotiation “clearly requires some sensitivity.” 

“We have to protect the confidentiality clearly of our negotiators,” he said.

Wyden and Crapo withdrew their amendments requiring that lawmakers and staff with security clearances have access to trade negotiation documents after Baucus and the top Republican on the panel, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) promised to work with them going forward.

Congress, not the U.S. Trade Representative, decided which interest groups have access to the TPP negotiations. Lobbyists were banned from sitting on advisory committees nearly three years ago, while nonprofit groups, academics and think tanks have a seat at the table.