While most of the attention on ACTA has been focused on the growing likelihood that Europe will reject the treaty, it appears that something similar is happening down under as well. The Australian Parliament's "Joint Standing Committee on Treaties" is now recommending that Australia reject ACTA as well
“The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has thoroughly examined the text, the arguments and the positions taken by other governments and sees the writing on the wall; there appears a very real possibility that ACTA will not be ratified by sufficient countries in order to come into existence,” said Senator Ludlam.
“The Greens would welcome ACTA being ruled out completely because the content of this treaty is fatally flawed and the process that brought it about was shamefully and unnecessarily secretive. While our government did hold consultations they were farcical because those being consulted did not have the secret text and therefore couldn’t provide advice and feedback.
“Australia’s parliamentary committee is not alone in its detailed criticism of this Agreement. No less than five European Parliament Committees have recommended it be rejected. Several EU countries have suspended consideration until further notice and the Dutch Lower house has recommended its rejection outright. Hundreds of thousands of people have come out in demonstrations against ACTA throughout Europe and the United States.
What struck me as most interesting in this was the fact that Australia is also one of the major parties involved in negotiating the TPP agreement -- which is even more secretive than ACTA
. Indeed, Senator Ludlam spoke out about that as well, comparing the two agreements:
“ACTA may well go down if governments listen to their people and parliamentary committees, however, many of the interests that drove ACTA are currently driving the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – the obligations of this Agreement being negotiated in secret will affect very similar areas such as affordable medicines, Australian content and digital copyright issues.”
If this keeps up, ACTA is going to end up being an agreement between the US and Morocco and that's about it...