Items tagged "Transparency"
Next Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Begins TomorrowMay 7, 2012 Enforcement , International , TPP , Transparency , 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.Read More
The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are being conducted in extreme secrecy and that is a problem. In this post, I suggest some options that would end the secrecy and allow members of the public or their representatives to participate in the TPP negotiation process.Read More
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.Read More
Is ACTA Binding? Depends on Where You AskMarch 8, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency
There’s been a fair bit of coverage about this letter sent from the State Department in response to Senator Ron Wyden’s questions about how much the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) binds the U.S. It’s a current question because among the many questions swirling around ACTA, one is whether it “binds” the United States to its terms. The answer from the State Department is “yes”—but that may not actually mean what it appears to at first, and the reason for that has to do with why I’ve placed the word “binds” in scare quotes above.
In my previous post on the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), I explained how provisions of TPP might harm you. Of course, it’s hard to know exactly what might be bad within secret agreements like the TPP–all we have to go off of is leaked text that is many months old. But this raises another point: the secrecy itself is bad, not just because it makes it hard to comment on what may or may not be in the text, but because it undermines the democratic process. Secrecy might make sense for nuclear disarmament talks but it’s hard to see why agreements like the TPP–which amount to international treaties that set levels of intellectual property protection around the world–deserve such hush-hush treatment.Read More
PK tells USTR: Adopt a More Rational Trade PolicyFebruary 16, 2011 ACTA , International , Special 301 , TPP , Transparency
If you stand outside of the FCC on any given day, you will have the opportunity to witness the great ebb and flow of telecommunications lobbyists (and, admittedly, the occasional public interest representative) streaming inside. These folks are at the FCC to have private meetings to discuss their issues with staffers and Commissioners. Although these meetings are private, there are some rules – called ex parte rules – that require people meeting with Commissioners and Commission staff to write up a summary of what was discussed. These summaries – called ex parte letters – are supposed to let the public know what happened. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, those letters are not always very informative.Read More
Finally Some Transparency: ACTA Negotiators Announce Release of TextApril 16, 2010 ACTA , Enforcement , Transparency
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced today that it will be making the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) available to the public on April 21st. Here is the portion of the press release that talks about the latest round of negotiations in New Zealand and the decision to release the text:Read More
Who Wants ACTA Transparency (and who doesn’t)?April 14, 2010 ACTA , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency
Even as more and more voices are calling for the Anti Counterfeiting Trade agreement to be made public, the United States Trade Representative is insisting in maintaining a veneer of secrecy over the proceedings. While numerous advocates and other governments (including the European Parliament, and officials in the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands (pdf, in Dutch)) are actively calling for full openness and transparency, the U.S.Read More