News 21/03: US Senator files legislative amendment to JOBS Act. Australia remain firm against dispute settlement clauses. No progress on a place for Japan at the table? PDF Print E-mail

1. Knowledge Ecology International reports that US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has filed two legislative amendments to the President's proposed JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act which would "prohibit the President from accepting or providing for the entry into force of certain legally binding trade agreements without the formal and express approval of Congress". One is for the TPP, while the other is for ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, already negotiated). Wyden's TPP amendment would require public disclosure of US negotiating positions and proposals on IP or the Internet. Techdirt also reports on Wyden's amendments, and their likelihood of their success, here. Wyden also pressed USTR Ron Kirk directly regarding both agreements during a Senate Finance Committee on the 2012 US Trade agenda, available on YouTube here.

2. Knowledge Ecology International also has a round-up of the IP discussions from the Melbourne round of TPP negotiations.

3. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that as of the latest round the Australian government is standing firm (as a matter of government policy) on its refusal to allow investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms into the TPP.The Wall Street Journal reports that US business groups have written to President Obama and asked him to retaliate against this refusal. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also expressed concern about the government's stance in a press release.

4. The co-leader of the NZ Green Party, Russel Norman, has returned from attending an international conference on the TPP in Japan, and has spoken to Radio New Zealand about the tenor of the concerns voiced there.

5. Following the Melbourne Round of TPP negotiations, Public Citizen have updated their comparative chart of the US's intellectual property proposal for the talks and existing Australian law, and published stakeholder presentations from Public Citizen, Cancer Control Council Australia, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and IP expert Sean Flynn.

6. The American Prospect has published a full special report for its April 2012 issue, Pacific Illusions, which presents a series of critical perspectives on the claimed benefits of the TPP to the United States, economically and strategically.

7. The Detroit News reports that President Obama has not yet decided whether to allow Japan entry into talks, and reports that Detroit's 'Big Three' auto manufacturers still oppose Japan's entry to talks but welcome Canada and Mexico's.

8. Summarising developments as of the Melbourne Round, Les Conseil Des Canadiens reports that a final decision on Canada joining the TPP should not be expected until September 2012. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast perceives that negotiations are 'moving forward'.

9. The Hill reports that the sole (no pun intended) athletic footwear manufacturer in the US is negotiating with lawmakers to try and preserve footwear duties under the TPP - they claim this will save five factories from closure.

10. The International Trade Union Confederation has published a release highlighting their concern after the Melbourne Round that talks are heading in a 'dangerous' direction.

11. Inside US Trade (subscriber-only) reports that amid the TPP negotiations, the US, NZ, Australia and Chile are in agreement on a US proposal on geographical indicators that would protect those names and brands perceived as 'generic' and counter a European Union move to strengthen GI's across the board.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 02:35

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