So Much For Transparency: Latest ACTA Draft Won't Be Released
from the wait-'til-it's-done dept
Last week, the reports from the ACTA negotiations in Washington DC suggested that many of the negotiators favored releasing the latest text, knowing that even if it wasn’t released, it would almost certainly get leaked anyway. However, the negotiations have ended and guess what? It appears that the text will not be officially released (expect the “unofficial” release shortly…). Once again, it looks as though it was the US negotiators — who keep insisting they’re all for transparency — that have blocked the release, perhaps once again using transparency as a bargaining chip to try to get other things they want. They don’t get what they want, the document doesn’t get released.
The latest reports are that this meeting closed some of the substantial gaps, and negotiators are hopeful that they’ll wrap up the details next month in Japan. The reports also claim that the next version of the text that will be released will be the final “take it or leave it” version of the agreement. That’s downright ridiculous. With every released or leaked draft so far, many people have pointed out serious problems with it, and how it will contradict various local laws. It’s simply preposterous to hide such an agreement (especially since there will be no Congressional review of it in the US — since it’s been called an “executive agreement” in order to get around Congressional oversight) when it could have serious implications for many people around the globe. For an administration that has promised us transparency from the beginning, the ACTA negotiations have been the exact opposite. What’s really disappointing is that the negotiators don’t seem to care. Perhaps that’s because they know that by keeping their mouths shut and giving trade groups everything they want, there are lucrative jobs waiting for them whenever they want.