What Little Transparency The US Trade Rep Used To Have Is Going Away

from the that's-not-transparency dept

When Michael Froman was first nominated as the US Trade Rep, we hoped he would commit to being more transparent than his predecessors. While that seemed unlikely given his history as a political crony revolving in and out of government and business, the issue was raised directly during his Senate approval process. Unfortunately, like his predecessors, Froman appears to confuse transparency with listening. The two are not the same. Transparency is about sharing what you're doing. Listening is about hearing what others have to say. You can listen while being totally opaque -- and it appears that this is the USTR's strategy.

IP Watch notes that the USTR released its list of weekly press events... in which every one of them is closed to the press.
This could just be a coincidence, having to do with the type of meetings the USTR is having, but it's still indicative of the way the USTR operates. But a much bigger concern is that Jamie Love, from KEI, reveals that the USTR has now changed its policy on sharing texts of WTO TRIPS council interventions with outside organizations, such as civil society and public interest groups. That is basically spitting on transparency, with the new USTR basically making it clear that it doesn't want the actual feedback from the groups most closely following these stories from the public interest side of things.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

    Froman is transparent

    We can all see how black his heart really is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Froman is transparent

    Are this a reference to the black ink used on the text "closed"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

    It's closed door deals like this, that causes nations like Canada to get sued by corporations. Simply because Canada wanted to consider the environmental impacts of fracking for oil. Such as contaminated drinking water.

    When a corporation sues the government of a nation, it's the tax payers money they're collecting.

    It's utterly ridiculous and why the drafting of these "free trade" policies, needs to be open to the public who's ultimately going to get sued by these policies.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131004/07500724750/canada-hit-with-another-massive-inve stor-state-dispute-settlement-demand.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:37pm

    I wonder which DOS Virus fits best with the USTR. Are they the Virus.DOS.Fromaning?

    https://www.youtube.com/user/danooct1?feature=watch

    Personally the Virus.DOS.Walker is funny although NSFW.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:12pm

    Seems the US trade representative doesn't want the public to know how bad corporations and businesses are screwing them.

    No press means no one there to give them problems to the public.

    Another government office with new definitions for the English language.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:32pm

    I have absolutely zero confidence in any part of the US Government at this point , they choose a direction of money over honor keeping business outta government should be the main point in every topic at this point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 1:21am

    What people renamed the ink black transparency and nobody told me?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Um... How is it a press event if it is closed to the press?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    One of these stands out in particular:

    "U.S. negotiators arrive in Japan for bilateral and intersessional TPP meetings on intellectual property rights.

    Japan
    Closed Press"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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