I have heard in a lot of places that the treaty is being negotiated in secret.
Is this true? If true, is there an official reason for it?
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The fact that negotiations are going on is not exactly secret. The EU Commission needs a mandate for that and is not very good at keeping a lid on things in general. In this case, it's not even trying to and has put a lot of propaganda material regarding the TTIP on its website.
What some people have been complaining about is the reluctance to publish the actual draft of the agreement in discussion. Negotiators claim that handling that discreetly helps them being more effective, which is understandable. But contrary to what some commenters have implied, it's not necessarily always like that in the EU as I think that some drafts have been published during negotiations before.
In fact, even then, the drafts are actually not entirely secret, there have been many leaks, illustrating the point I made in the first paragraph. But the fact that the EU Commission only allows open discussion reluctantly and under pressure from whistleblowers doesn't sit well with part of the public and with the European Parliament, which has been complaining loudly, in part because it has a more limited role in trade negotiations, before finally falling (mostly) in line.