Entries Matching: USTR
Tomorrow the 12th round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will begin, but the negotiating countries are still keeping the public in the dark while they strike a deal that may drastically increase copyright protection and enforcement.
Yesterday, I attended the Senate Finance Committee Hearing
on the President’s 2012 Trade Agenda. United States Trade
Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk was the sole witness and testified on behalf
of the Administration. The hearing was an opportunity for UTSR to soothe public
concerns and address the recent scrutiny it’s received for the secretive
negotiation process surrounding
TPP negotiations. Instead the USTR failed to seriously address the lack of
public input within negotiations.
Last summer, with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations stalled for two years because of Hollywood insistence adding all kinds of regulate-the-internet crazy stuff, we gave the US Trade Representative and the industries pushing for ACTA some friendly advice: "Drop the crazy stuff."
Officially, the U.S. government wanted ACTA to stop people from bringing actual counterfeit goods into the country, or marketing actual counterfeit goods abroad. Thats why a lot of industry groups and companies wanted ACTA. Not because of they wanted to regulate the Internet and prop up the traditional business models of the movie and music industries, but to deal with the folks making wharehouses full of fake Louis Vitton bags and knock-off Omega watches.
Yesterday, a draft of the U.S. proposal for an intellectual property (IP) chapter of the transpacific partnership agreement (TPPA) leaked on the Internet. The U.S. proposal calls for IP protections and enforcement obligations more extensive than those called for in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) or the most recent U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – the Korea U.S. (KORUS) FTA.
Here are the highlights of the U.S. proposal:
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) plan to publish a separate list of “notorious markets” as part of its report on intellectual property emphasizes the agency's transformation from a trade agency into a law enforcement agency, Public Knowledge (PK) said in comments to USTR filed Thursday (Nov. 5).
“The USTR should stop its transformation into a law enforcement agency,” PK said, adding that “at a minimum” the agency should “acknowledge its new enforcement agenda, and improve its process to respect legal norms.”
A full copy of the comments is here.
In its filing, PK said that USTR is trying to “have it both ways,” by claiming that the “notorious markets” list is not a finding of a violation of law, yet at the same time encouraging local authorities to increase their efforts to combat “piracy.”