Mexican Senate Unanimously Votes To Remove Mexico From ACTA Negotations

from the well,-look-at-that dept

With the news that the EU Parliament is not happy with ACTA and threatening to reject it, now comes the news (via Jamie Love) that the Mexican Senate has voted unanimously to withdraw from ACTA negotiations. You can read the full resolution here (Google translation from the original Spanish). The resolution points out that access to information is a key point in helping to build a modern, information-based nation, and ACTA is about removing access to information and knowledge. They’re not against ACTA entirely, but think that the process needs to be a lot more open and involve a lot more stakeholders, and say they won’t agree to ACTA unless the process includes a much larger group in the discussions:

The Senator proposed to create a mixed analysis group consisting of experts, academics, corporations and members of the public that will analyze the current text of the agreement

Of course, it’s not clear exactly how much say the Mexican Senate has here. While the resolution claims that it needs to ratify any such agreements, I don’t know if that’s the case. In the US, for example, the administration will avoid needing Senate approval (which it needs for treaties) by designating it as an “executive agreement” instead of a “treaty.” Of course, if you talk to legal scholars, they point out that the only real difference is that an executive agreement doesn’t need to be approved by the Senate. I have no idea if Mexico has a similar setup. Also, this is just a “non-binding resolution,” so may not mean much in the long run. However, it is nice to see that some actual politicians are equally disturbed over how the ACTA negotiations took place and the fact that some final agreement is just being dumped on politicians at the last minute.

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Comments on “Mexican Senate Unanimously Votes To Remove Mexico From ACTA Negotations”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Of course, if you talk to legal scholars, they point out that the only real difference is that an executive agreement doesn’t need to be approved by the Senate.”

“Infringement” is not “theft”.

In a similar vein, an “executive agreement” is not a “treaty” (any scholar who may suggest the legal differences are by and large not relevant needs to audit a course in constitutional law).

Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

Re: Re:

ACTA was presented as a trade treaty negotiation. Being secret, and under its stringent non-disclosure terms it’s hard to know for sure what it was.

Still, just because the American government came to the table as an “executive agreement” does not mean the other participating countries were doing the same or similar. Other sovereign nations have different legal and governmental structures.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

My comment was made in response to the statement that an executive agreement in the US is for all intents and purposes a treaty. This simplistic, and inaccurate, statement completely ignores the critical distinction between the two. Once fully implemented in the US following Senate consent, the provisions of a treaty are entitled to the full force and effect of law, just like federal legislation. Executive agreements, on the other hand, enjoy no such entitlement. They carry no force of law. “Moral” force? To some degree, but “legal” force? No. Only Congress has legislative power, which is perhaps why it is refered to as the “legislative branch” of our our federal system of government.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Courts generally uphold treaties unless they explicitly contradict federal law and the *IAA et al will use the existing of the treaty as an excuse to uphold their position and the false argument that we have an international obligation as an excuse to prevent legislators from passing laws that contradict the treaty. So, for all practical purposes, they’re the same thing.

Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

woo hoo!

Why did it take them so long? Considering that they are the first participating country to bail, they are rather fast off the mark.

The negotiations only just concluded without reaching consensus, although the USTR is trying to spin it as a success.

Good job, Mexican Senate! Perhaps this will help some of the other nations stand up for themselves.

James B says:

Executive agreements are not the same as treaties and do not have the same force as a treaty. From what I understand, an executive agreement is only valid during the term of the President that agreed to it. Subsequent presidents could ratify it, but again, it would only have force during there term. If only president decided not to ratify it, or unintentionally let it lapse, then it would have no force as domestic law. Also, executive agreements must be self-executing. I haven’t read all the text of ACTA, but it would be pretty complicated to make it self-executing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“From what I understand, an executive agreement is only valid during the term of the President that agreed to it.”

Then your understanding is wrong.

Also, why the heck would the president spend such a huge portion of his term (time, effort, etc…) to pass a treaty that will be negated as soon as he leaves office. He might not even get elected next term. Seriously, how can you even listen to yourself?

Ccomp5950 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You will find the *AA’s lobbying congress to pass laws simular to the ACTA as soon as it is agreed upon, claiming it as a “International Obligation”. Our Congress Critters which aren’t very smart and judge ideas based on “Can it get me re-elected” or “Can it get me money” will see the campaign contributions and say “Well, it looks like these *AA guys are right!” and sign anything the *AA put infront of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Subsequent presidents could ratify it”

Yes, but they would have to go through the whole international agreement process again. Meaning, subsequent presidents could seek to repeal it or to ratify it but they can’t simply do it on their own, they would have to call a vote with the other countries that agreed with it. For them to unilaterally repeal the treaty would be to break the treaty and then the lobbies that control the various governments will argue that we are not meeting our international obligations by breaking our end of these agreements. So, with respect to international law, further presidents can’t simply repeal it. They would have to go through the voting process with the other countries that agreed with it. and future presidents aren’t likely to repeal it anyways, in case you haven’t noticed, pretty much all of our presidents and legislators are bought by industry lobbyists and they won’t permit such a thing.

Christopher (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, there could be a very good Constitutionally based lawsuit that executive agreement are unconstitutional, considering that the Constitution says that all international agreements have to come in treaty form and be ratified by Congress.

There is no ‘half-way’ mark here, and these executive agreements are asking for a constitutional beatdown as soon as someone has the balls to challenge them.

John. F says:

Re: Revenge is Sweet!

I doubt that. The fence is in the interest of the Mexican government. If their citizens and workforce leave the country, they’re screwed.
They protested a little against the fence, to make their citizens believe that they care and because the whole concept is kind of insulting to all Mexicans, but otherwise it’s good for the government to prevent emigration to the USA.

Econt says:

Re: Re: Revenge is Sweet!

Very clever comment..

I think the fence in the end is good for both countries altough is rather unpopular right now.
On this Presidential term Mexico has been doing its homework on creating jobs. Well the US recession had a lot to do with that, and altough job offer is nowhere near where it has to be at least the policy is going to the right place.

The last administration was just happy to see all the dollars coming from people working on the US and just dragged their feet on stimulating jobs here..

Octavio says:

FYI : It was just a proposal

I just read the original document (in Spanish) and it is a proposal from one of the senators, to be voted. It is from a senator from Mexico?s extreme left party.

As part of the proposal is a request for the president to suspend negotiations, while the senate agrees on their stand on the subject.

Remains to be seen if the other senators agree to the proposal and if the president agrees to the request.

Jeffrey A. Williams says:

Mexican Senate Votes To Drop Out of ACTA

It’s becoming more and more clear that the approach to ACTA negotiations in the Obama administration whom is driving the ACTA treaty has been less than well recieved. The Transparency promise of this administration, the WTO, and other nations participation in ACTA negotiations has proven that there is little trust in the peoples by which this ACTA treaty proposal to whom may and/or will be effected. Criminalizing huge swaths of Internet activity however egriogous in not in the best interest of global ecommerce unless there is adaquate acceptance and recognition by the publics in which such a treaty is intended to serve.

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