Yesterday, Sean Flynn (American Law), Margot Kaminski (Yale Law) and I submitted this comment to the US Trade Representative (USTR) making the argument that academics should have the ability to be formal USTR advisors.
"Given the laudable goals of the PITAC and the polarization around many of the issues on the table in both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the USTR should allow objective expert input from scholars whose interests derive from the duty of academia to encourage the free and open exchange of ideas. Academics can and should play a critical role in helping the USTR understand and distill competing positions. Through those efforts, the USTR can offer nuanced proposals that reflect the broad constituencies that have an interest in the outcome of trade negotiations. The USTR has recognized the important role academics can play by including them on other advisory committees. We are perplexed as to why academics do not appear to be eligible for inclusion on the PITAC."