Wikileaks has offered $110,000 for anyone who can bring them documents from the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The request was announced Tuesday.
The website launched a crowdfunding program to try to provide the reward money. They reached 20% of their goal by the afternoon.
Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has contributed to the fund. Others who have contributed include fashion designer and environmental campaigner Vivienne Westwood, journalist Glenn Greenwald and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.
“TTIP, which is currently under negotiation between the US and the European Union, remains closely guarded by negotiators and big corporations have been given privileged access,” said a WikiLeaks statement. “The public cannot read it. Today WikiLeaks is taking steps to ensure that Europeans can finally read the monster trade dead.”
WikiLeaks alleges that the United States is using its free trade policy and economic might to hold back developing countries like Russia, China, and South Africa, while reshaping the global economy. “The secrecy of the TTIP casts a shadow on the future of European democracy. Under this cover, special interests are running wild, much as we saw with the recent financial siege against the people of Greece. The TTIP affects the life of every European and draws Europe into long term conflict with Asia. The time for its secrecy to end is now,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The European Commission, who is in charge of trade has said they have made efforts to be more transparent. Trade talks are typically hidden between the negotiating governments. That lends itself to criticism as everyday people cannot read the agreements. Anti-free trade activists allege that the free trade agreements serve to help the top corporations while hurting lower income people.
The European Union has taken steps to be open with their negotiations. The EU launched a website dedicated to the TTIP and posts fact sheets and its proposals on there.
The website made a similar move with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. WikiLeaks leaked information from those talks.