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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2009 @ 2:51am

    "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"

    Theft of American ingenuity is much like a tax being levied on American by other countries. We most certainly should be taking "draconian" measures to stop domestic and foreign patent pirates from misappropriating American ingenuity.

    I do agree that the process of our kicking the crap out of IP thieves should be open.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC

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