I’ve seen a couple of folks already picking up this post from James Love, a director at KEI which has done so much excellent work trying to pry lose information about ACTA and represent public interest concerns. On a flight back from Geneva to DC, Love managed to spend some brief quality time with the head of the USTR, Ron Kirk.
Love pressed on the privacy surrounding ACTA’s development, not accepting Kirk’s assurance that the agreement’s text would be available to the public when it was done. Kirk rejected early input from the public, that it would result in negotiating parties leaving the table. Love persisted, citing any number of comparable efforts being conducted with public input without jeopardizing their success.
The encounter ultimately was frustrating, despite Love’s reasonable objections and questions:
I brought up to Kirk that the USTR had shown ACTA text to dozens of corporate lobbyists and all of its trading partners in the ACTA negotiation, and the text was only secret from the public. Kirk did say USTR was discussing this issue with the White House and its trading partners, but that was about all he could say at that moment.
This is what I find so infuriating with ACTA, the absolute stone walling of any public interest whatsoever. It only leaves us to infer that the terms must be truly unacceptable–what else could we make of this constant tight lipped attitude?