US Trade Rep Promises Transparency... But Actions Speak Louder Than Websites

from the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it dept

The US Trade Representative has finally finished the long overdue task of relaunching its website. Among such spiffy new features as a blog and an interactive map, the USTR has promised to fulfill Obama's pledge "to advance the social accountability and political transparency of trade policy." And while these are nice and all, the promise rings somewhat hollow.

Even though Obama's nominee, Ron Kirk, had just begun his term as the new US Trade Representative, the 2009 Special 301 that was released in April continued the ridiculous fallacies of years past. Even worse, for an organization pledging transparency, the process of researching and writing the Special 301 reports is notoriously secretive, blocking out NGOs, consumer groups and citizens. Instead, IP maximalist industry groups collaborate with USTR bureaucrats to write draconian US government reports that serve to alienate nations and harm innovation around the world. If Ambassodor Kirk and Obama want a USTR that does advance social accountability and political transparency, it would do well to be open in substance, not style. Perhaps a good place to let them know would be their new "Ask the Ambassador" feature.

Filed Under: transparency, ustr


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  1. icon
    bikey (profile), 4 Jun 2009 @ 1:06am

    trade agreements

    Rereading the article linked in this, it is sad indeed that here as in so many other areas, Obama has done the opposite of what we had hoped. Staffing the "Justice Department" with RIAA front men and continuing to back the secretive ACTA are just the most obvious examples. What one lawmaker (Dan Durbin, I think) said of the banking industry, ("These guys own the place") is equally applicable to IP types. As the economy continues to tank, the IP lifeline to (pseudo) hegemony, creative costs be damned, can only thicken.

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