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USTR Keeps Making ITU Look Good On Transparency, Which Is Bad For Everyone.

July 2, 2012 International , ITU , TPP

Pointing out that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) does not understand the concept of “transparency” hardly qualifies as news. It’s kinda like “Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Places Last In Pulled Pork Bar-B-Q Contest.” But every now and then, USTR’s generalized failure to understand why increasing public participation, sharing more information with the public, and generally bringing the standard of transparency up to what we would actually consider vaguely transparent actually threatens U.S. interests in other areas.

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What We Learn (and Don’t Learn) from the TPP Transparency Fact Sheet

June 27, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

The debate over transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) rages on. Yesterday the US Trade Representative (USTR) released a fact sheet on transparency in the TPP negotiations. The fact sheet basically summarizes how the USTR perceives its transparency efforts to date and how it responds to outcry from members of Congress and the public that the level of secrecy surrounding the TPP negotiations is unacceptable.

While this fact sheet is better than no response at all, it does little to address substantive concerns about secrecy in TPP and in fact only shows how public input and accountability is directly dependent on the open availability of substantive information about the TPP’s proposed text.

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Credit Where Credit Is Due: USTR Accommodates Stakeholder Presentations

June 5, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

The US Trade Representative (USTR) just recently announced that it will accommodate both formal presentations and less structured events for stakeholders in the next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. This is a promising step forward for the USTR’s public engagement efforts, even though it cannot solve the serious problems caused by the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations.

Combining the Best of Both Worlds

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USTR Gone Rogue

May 16, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

In previous blog posts, Public Knowledge generally described the stakeholder events that occurred this past weekend at the TPP negotiations in Dallas, to give readers a sense of the structure that public interest groups work within during negotiations. This post will be dedicated to the actual substance of the conversations we had with the USTR during those events.

Stakeholder Engagement: A Huge Disappointment

While we thought the general structure of the stakeholder tabling event has its advantages and disadvantages, the substance of the conversations we had with USTR representatives during that event made us seriously concerned that the USTR cannot be prevailed upon to represent the public without complete transparency.

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TPP Deep Dive: The TPP’s Myopic Focus on Enforcement Will Cause Collateral Damage

May 13, 2012 Enforcement , TPP

This is the third in the series of our deep dive blog posts talking about concerns with specific aspects of the TPP. In this one, I will talk about the copyright enforcement provisions of the TPP and why they are not in the best interests of Americans or citizens of the other TPP countries.

Like most of our other our substantive analyses, this one is based on the US proposed draft text that leaked in February last year.

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