Items tagged "USTR"

Press Release

Public Knowledge Responds to Trump Administration’s NAFTA Negotiation Objectives

July 20, 2017 Fair Use , International , NAFTA , USTR

Recently, the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer published a summary of the Trump Administration’s objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Public Knowledge finds that these objectives will harm American consumers and innovators.

Read More
Press Release

Public Knowledge Tells Trade Agency To Clarify Law Enforcement Role

November 5, 2010 ACTA , Press Release , Special 301 , USTR

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.”

Read More
Press Release

Public Knowledge Asks For Public Participation In Trade Advisory Groups

May 26, 2010 ACTA , Press Release , USTR

Government agencies involved in trade negotiations should open their private-sector advisory committees to include public representatives, Public Knowledge (PK) said May 25 in a filing with the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce.

A copy of the filing is here.

Read More
Press Release

Public Knowledge and Electronic Frontier Foundation Ask USTR For Changes in Intellectual Property Tr

February 18, 2010 Press Release , USTR

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) should use transparent and objective criteria in its findings that countries have violated intellectual-property trade laws, and should not be as quick to put countries on special watch lists that could potentially lead to a trade sanctions process, Public Knowledge (PK) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said today.

In comments to the trade agency on the “Special 301” process, which determines whether countries will be put on a special “watch list,” the groups criticized USTR for using “vague and non-transparent” criteria for listing countries, for accepting without evaluation statistics from industry and for unfairly putting countries on the “watch list” as not enforcing intellectual property law. The groups also said the USTR process should recognize in its international evaluations the same balance that applies to U.S. copyright laws.

Read More
Press Release

ACTA Treaty ‘Anti-Consumer and Anti-Innovation’ Groups Tell Congress

November 9, 2009 ACTA , Press Release , Transparency , USTR

A treaty being negotiated by the U.S. government dealing with intellectual property issues appears to have included parts of prior agreements “most favorable to groups of intellectual property holders” while leaving out those elements “most favorable to consumers,” Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and Public Knowledge told Congressional leaders.

Read More
Press Release

Groups Protest Obama Administration Secrecy on ‘Trade Agreement’

November 5, 2009 ACTA , International , Press Release , USTR

Sixteen library, consumer, creator, and civil liberties organizations today told the Obama Administration of their “deep concerns about the lack of transparency and openness” surrounding the negotiation of an international trade agreement that has the potential to rewrite U.S. copyright law.

Read More
Press Release

Groups Ask USTR To Remove Internet Issues From Trade Treaty

July 16, 2009 ACTA , Press Release , Trademark , USTR

Nine groups have sent a letter to Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, asking him for some revisions to his decision to move forward with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The groups told Kirk, “Based on negotiating documents that have become public—but not made available by the U.S. government—we have good reason to believe that the ACTA negotiations could harm a significant portion ofthe economy as well as consumer interests.”

Read More
Post

Copyright and Secrecy Don’t Make for Good Trade Agreements

May 10, 2013 ACTA , International , Limitations & Exceptions , Transparency , USTR

Dear USTR, copyright has meaningful non-economic and social value; keep it out of the U.S.-E.U. Free Trade Agreement. If you have to have it, make sure it protects all Americans and not just large content owners. (And make the agreement transparent and inclusive while you’re at it.)


Today we filed comments about the proposed United States-European Union Free Trade Agreement – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that copyright is an uncomfortable fit for a trade agreement and should be kept out of the TTIP.

If the USTR still wants to include copyright within the TTIP, it should make sure that a copyright chapter in the TTIP will not impede Congress’s ability to change U.S. copyright laws.

We also asked the USTR to break from the past and not negotiate the TTIP in secret.

Read More
Post

No One’s “Signed Away” the Right to Unlock Cell Phones

March 14, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Forum Shopping , USTR

Several people have raised the specter of trade agreements standing in the way of cell phone unlocking. The basic idea is that, in a broad trade negotiation between the US and South Korea (and in a number of others), the two countries agreed to make sure their copyright laws had certain similar features. Among those were requirements that they have laws against breaking digital locks to access copyrighted works, and that they only have certain kinds of exemptions to them. Cell phone unlocking is not one of the specific exemptions.

Mike Masnick at Techdirt characterizes this (at least in the article’s title) as the US “signing away” its ability to enact a more permanent exemption for phone unlocking.

Read More
Post

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.

Read More