PCI Urges Rapid Progress on Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement

September 13, 2012

  • September 13, 2012 at 10:16 am
    ExciteBiker says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Snyder mentions the “unfounded claims of trade opponents.” First, opposition to the TPP does not require or imply a general opposition to trade. Second, I think the criticism of the TPP is well-founded.

    The TPP is potentially a great trade agreement that can benefit all parties. The problem is no one knows what it says. All negotiations are in utter secrecy. The public–up to and including Senators on the committee overseeing trade–have been completely excluded from negotiations since the start. Due to the extent with which leaks sunk the ACTA agreement–precisely because once the public discovered its contents they vociferously opposed it–the secrecy mechanisms behind the TPP are unprecedented.

    The other problem with the TPP is the extent to which it intermingles legitimate free trade negotiations with the interests of certain powerful lobby groups particularly those in the ‘copyright & patent maximalist’ camps. The TPP, like ACTA, is loaded with absurd expansions of copyright and patent law and include none of the exceptions and limitations currently present.

    The PCI and other interested parties should urge the negotiators to exclude these copyright maximalist parties from the agreement entirely. Simply put, the RIAA & MPAA agenda threatens the viability of the entire agreement, since once the public finds out what’s inside they will react swiftly and negatively. The ACTA vote went down in flames, and opposition to SOPA & PIPA was unprecedented.

    The PCI and other interested parties should also urge negotiators to actually include the public in a meaningful way and with good intent. The entire draft document should be made public after each round of negotiations. The public should absolutely NOT have to rely on leaked drafts of which we have precious few, especially since the Obama administration has signaled that they may consider this to be an ‘executive agreement’ not requiring Congressional approval.

    So no, “rapid progress” is not what we should be encouraging here. Public discourse is. We should all be loudly condemning the lack of transparency and the Obama administration’s attempt to use the TPP as a trojan horse for a global copyright expansion to appease his Hollywood MPAA donors (like MPAA President “But I’m Not A Lobbyist” Chris Dodd!).

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *