Broken promises

White House Redacts Contract Details for Recovery.gov

According to this report from Pro Publica, the contract with a firm hired to make contracts public, is highly redacted.

Clay Johnson, the director of the Sunlight Labs [10] project at the Sunlight Foundation [11], called the level of redaction in the documents remarkable.

More on the White House/PhRMA deal

In an August 14, 2009 article in the LA Times, Tom Hamburger provides yet another installment in the ongoing disclosures about a secret White House deal with PhRMA on pharmaceutical pricing.

White House: ACTA still “secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”

By James Love, on July 31st, 2009

On Thursday, July 30, 2009, the White House office of the United States Trade Representative denied release of 4 new proposals for text that were circulated in July to “all countries” in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations. The request was limited to documents that were prepared in the past 90 days for purpose of discussion at the July 2009 ACTA negotiating meeting held in Morocco.

USTR located 4 such documents, but denied the FOIA request under 5 USC 552(b)(1). The specific exception cited reads as follows:

Broken promise by President Obama on parallel trade in pharmaceuticals

As candidates, almost all democrats have promised voters, in several elections, they will support parallel trade in pharmaceuticals from Canada and other high income countries. As elected officials, nothing happens. President Obama already has authority to permit imports of medicines, if he wanted to exercise it. But not only is the White House not fullfillinbg the promise to allow imports, it has promised the CEO of PhRMA and several big companies that they won’t allow parallel trade in the health reform bill.

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