Obama Administration Reiterates Its Support Of Secretive, Industry Written ACTA
from the this-is-a-problem dept
Perhaps the most troubling part of all of this is that the negotiations are happening in secret, and when consumers rights organizations ask to be given a seat at the table, they're denied. When those same consumer rights organizations ask to at least be told what's being negotiated, they're told it's forbidden because of "state secrets." However, for all that national security, the administration has absolutely no problem giving industry lobbyists access to the process. Funny how that works.
Either way, it should come as no surprise that Michael Geist alerts us to the news that the US Trade Rep, Ron Kirk, is eager to get ACTA moving forward again. In response to all that secrecy, he claims:
As we proceed with these negotiations, we will ensure that the public is kept well informed and has further opportunities to give input.Of course, the next meeting will take place in Morocco. How many consumer representatives will be there?
In the meantime, Kirk claims:
"The ACTA negotiations provide an opportunity to toughen international standards for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, making it harder for counterfeit and pirated products to enter our country, and making the world safer for the innovation and creativity that are so critical to the U.S. economy."But... wait. Is it really true that this is a big problem? Both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have taken a close look at the numbers thrown around about the "problem" of counterfeiting, and found them to be wildly overblown by lobbyists -- the same lobbyists writing ACTA, not surprisingly. So why is the US Trade Rep agreeing to let this go forward? It's not about "making the world safer for the innovation and creativity." It's about granting special protection to a few powerful US industries with lobbyists.
Isn't that a problem?