News 11/05: Jurists write open letter objecting to lack of TPP transparency and opposing investor-state clauses. Chile make equivocal noises about signing final agreement. Anti-TPP animated video hits the Net. PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 May 2012 02:35

1. The 12th round of negotiations in Dallas, Texas have been accompanied by a flurry of academic responses and press. Leading this has been an open letter from 100 jurists from countries currently or potentially engaged in the TPPA. They call in the letter for the TPPA to reject a NAFTA-style investor-state dispute settlement. The letter's principal signatories include Retired Court of Appeal Judge Sir Edmund Thomas, former Australian Family Court Chief Justice Elizabeth Everett, Ralph Nader, and former President of York University Professor Harry Arthurs. Legislators from three NZ opposition parties have signed, as well Maine State Legislator Sharon Treat. Other lawyers who want to show their support for this can still sign on here.

2. USTR Ron Kirk has issued a preliminary response to the letter, saying that the signatories have been misled as to the level of public openness and consultation provided on TPP throughout the talks. Techdirt's Mike Masnick has analysed Kirk's response critically, paragraph-by-paragraph and believes it does not engage with the matters the lawyers raise.

3. Bryan Gould has written about the risks to New Zealand's domestic legal process and sovereignty to legislate in an op-ed for the NZ Herald, in tandem with the letter's release. The Herald's own unsigned editorial response alleges that Gould and other experts have over-stated the risks of the TPPA, although without an identified author it is hard to determine what authority this is founded on.

4. Minnesota Senator Al Franken has written to Ron Kirk urging transparency on the TPPA, asking that stakeholders be given full and equal opportunity for input into the positions negotiators take.

5. Infojustice is reporting on a Chilean news story in which a top trade official indicates that Chile may have to reassess what is on the table before proceeding. He also indicates that Chile would not enter into an agreement simply because it had been in the original P4 arrangement from the beginning.

6. Peter K. Yu of Drake University Law School has written a short briefing on ACTA, SOPA, and TPP entitled 'The Alphabet Soup of Transborder Intellectual Property Enforcement'. He submits that due to limited transparency, press scrutiny, and the lack of a strong counterpower like the EU (as in ACTA) it presents a stronger public risk.

7. Susan Chalmers of Internet NZ has travelled to Dallas to advocate for open IP rights around the Internet, and details some of her concerns about the TPP's potential IP requirements here.

8. A collection of trade associations, including the RIAA, the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce, have also written to the USTR. They have requested the strongest possible enforcement mechanisms possible as part of the TPP in their 8 May letter. Public Knowledge's policy blog analyses their letter here.

9. The Citizens' Trade Campaign has presented a petition signed by over 24,000 Americans asking the USTR to publicly release its TPPA proposals, and is following this with a rally and march on Saturday 12 May, starting in Dallas's Addison Circle Park.

10. Finally, Public Citizen has released this lighter anti-TPP gesture, an animated video and song set to the Jackson 5's classic 'ABC'. Watch 'TPP' embedded below:


Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 04:14

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