transparency

Tweeting the USTR 301 list

The following are some of the “tweets” on the new USTR 301 list:

WIPO releases roster of its technical assistance consultants (2005-2008)

In preparation for the 3rd meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), WIPO published a 31 page document (CDIP/3/2) on March 18, 2009 listing a roster of consultants for technical assistance the Organization employed from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008. This is a welcome step in providing greater transparency into WIPO’s technical assistance activities.

Views of Civil Society on USTR Review of Trade-Related Transparency Policies

As mentioned in an earlier KEI blog, on Thursday, March 19, a group of public interest groups met with the Obama administration’s trade officials. As a result of this meeting, USTR has promised to review its policies on transparency and invited groups to submit concrete proposals for evaluation. Further, these proposals are to be discussed as part of the review process in a follow up meeting next month.

Proposed areas of discussion include:

Obama trade officials promise thorough review of transparency policies

The following report was prepared by KEI, and reviewed by Daniel Sepulveda of USTR:

What should be transparent in trade and treaty negotiations?

KEI doing work on the transparency of global trade and treaty negotiations, particularly but not exclusively as relates to IPR negotiations.

One area that has received attention recently (after a year of complaints), seems to be recent USTR denial of access to the negotiating texts of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is basically an IPR enforcement agreement only marginally related to the emotive title, “counterfeits.”

Canada on disclosure of ACTA documents

Michael Geist reports he has obtained under the Canada Access to Information Act” a confidential November 2008 memorandum written by Stockwell Day, the Canada Minister of International Trade, that says in part:

European Parliament debate on transparency of ACTA documents

From the European Parliament is a call for more transparency of ACTA documents. This is a report from Sina Amoor Pour of Sweden, posted to the A2K listserve:

March 2009 news stories on the denial of access to ACTA documents under FOIA on national security grounds

The following are some of the stories on the denial of the ACTA FOIA request on national security grounds.

March 12, 2009
http://www.keionline.org/blogs/2009/03/12/acta-state-secret/
Obama Administration Rules Texts of New IPR Agreement are State Secrets
Huffington Post, James Love, March 12, 2009.

Who are the cleared advisors that have access to secret ACTA documents?

The negotiating text of ACTA and many other documents, including even the lists of participants in the negotiations, are secret. The White House claims the secrecy is required as a matter of national security. But that does not mean the documents are off limits to everyone outside of the government. Hundreds of advisors, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered “cleared advisors.” They have access to the ACTA documents.

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