US Demands Transparency Everywhere — But Only From Everyone Else

from the do-as-I-say,-not-as-I-do dept

Techdirt has written about the Special 301 report many times, but that’s not the only US government publication putting other countries on the naughty step. Another is the less well-known National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (pdf):

The 2013 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) is the 28th in an annual series that surveys significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports. This document is a companion piece to the President’s Trade Policy Agenda published in March. The issuance of the NTE Report continues the elaboration of an enforcement strategy, utilizing this report, among other tools, in that strategy.

The report offers detailed discussions of the habits of 57 countries, but they all share a rather significant theme: transparency — or, rather, the lack of it. It really seems the US just can’t get enough of it. Here, for example, is a sample of the report’s comments from the section on the European Union:

The U.S. pharmaceutical industry has expressed concerns regarding some EU and Member State policies affecting market access for pharmaceutical products, including nontransparent procedures and a lack of meaningful stakeholder input into policies related to pricing and reimbursement, including therapeutic reference pricing and other price controls.

Lack of transparency is also an issue for uranium, it seems:

The United States is concerned that nontransparent EU policies may restrict the import into the EU of enriched uranium, the material from which nuclear power reactor fuel is fabricated.

Public procurement is another area where transparency is cited as a big problem: countries singled out for a mention here include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Slovenia.

Reading through the rest of the 400-page report, it’s truly extraordinary to see transparency mentioned dozens of times as one of the US’s key concerns with other countries around the world. Of course, that’s deeply ironic, since the US was not only the lone holdout against ACTA transparency, and responsible for reducing what little transparency was present in the TPP negotiations, but it even refused to be transparent about its own positions on transparency. Hypocritical much?

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Comments on “US Demands Transparency Everywhere — But Only From Everyone Else”

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Anonymous Coward says:

typical bully-boy tactics yet again from the USA. want everything, give nothing. benefit from everything, deplete everyone else. make USA companies more profitable, stop everywhere else from making anything, even when it means thousands will die. ensure USA is top of the list everywhere, even above other countries own citizens!

cant think of any better advert really. strange how everywhere wants to make sure the USA is a profitable nation at the expense of the rest of the world. quickly been forgotten that the shit pile everywhere is in now was started by the USA! should go down well. i bet most places will be falling over themselves to get off this list though, just like the 301

JustMe (profile) says:

I'd say I'm sick of this

But really, just more of the same from our government. Problem is, we are just continuing the policies of previous administrations because the civilian employees making these decisions never get shuffled out due to seniority, a perceived ability to ‘do the job’, and union contracts.

What I wouldn’t give to see a purge in DC… maybe then we could have some real discussions about what is right for the country (in the best interests of the CITIZENS instead of the lobbyists).

DOJ says:

Here are the policies on the policies of why we cannot make a statement on our policies of transparency.

Section 1a
The United States Department of Justice ████████ ████ ██ █ ████████ █████ ██ █ ██████████ ██████ █████ ██████ national security ███ ███████ ███████. Related laws██████ ███ ███████ █████ are completely █████ ██ ████████ corrupted. █ ████████ ██████ ███ ██████████!

Anonymous Coward says:

Just a little quote:
“On enforcement, actions within the EU on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) remain a
priority concern for the United States, particularly following the European Parliament?s vote to reject the
Agreement in July 2012, and the Commission?s decision in December 2012 to withdraw its request to the
European Court of Justice to review the Agreement?s consistency with EU law. These actions stand in contrast to the active participation of the Commission and the Member States in the ACTA negotiations,
which concluded in November 2010, and which culminated in the EU and 22 of its Member States signing the ACTA on January 26, 2012.”

In other words: “We see what EU did as a result of political obstructionists ignoring the industry requests. What opposition from the people? Only misinformed and extreme elements were opposed to it! What EU parliament, what national parliament? Those are clearly technical trade barriers and thus illegal…”

Anonymous Coward says:

oh for the love of…

it basically criticises EU member coutnries for daring to demand prices closer to generic medicines where generics exist.

“a generic drug may treat the same disease or symptoms as the innovative
drug in the same therapeutic class, but such drugs may be distinct at the molecular level.” AKA, the drugs may be slightly different- WHY, exactly, does this matter? if the drug treats the same disease the same way, then I fail to see why they shouldn’t demand similar prices.

Anonymous Coward says:

“The Phaarmaceutical
industry largely supports the reform, with the exception of two provisions: a new industry tax to finance
provision of continuing medical information for doctors and a two – year ban on visits by industry sales
representatives to individual doctors”

I wonder why France might have done those two? ( for the uninformed: the tax is because the information is to prove the medicine’s safety, so arguably benefits the manufacturer. the ban on sales representative visits is to curb the practice of practically bribing doctors to prescribe a particular drug.

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