On April 26, 2011, Senator Wyden released a redacted version of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on ACTA that has been the subject to an ongoing Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) dispute with USTR.
(More context here, here and here).
This is a link to the report that USTR claimed they could not release because of restrictions on its use by Senator Wyden.
In a somewhat unexpected and encouraging ruling, on April 12, 2011, the District Court for the District of Columbia rejected USTR claims that the release of certain documents relating to a trade negotiations can be shielded from the FOIA.
The case involves a FOIA dispute between the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) over documents revealing the US negotiating position on the Investment Chapter in the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).
On July 1, 2010, William Yue, the Senior Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce at the US Department of Commerce, wrote to Joel Blank and John Cobau about the ACTA negotiations. John Cobau was the Chief Counsel for International Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Joel Blank was International Attorney-Advisor at US Department of Commerce.
A redacted version of this email was the only document released to KEI as part of a larger FOIA request concerning the Department of Commerce role in the ACTA negotiations. A copy is available here:
Recently, Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) responded to follow up questions from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee regarding the 2011 Trade Agenda. In addition to asserting that the U.S. Congress is not bound by ACTA, the responses suggest USTR desire to establish requirements for the implementation of data exclusivity provisions.
Six NGOs, including Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Oxfam, Third World Network (TWN), Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), and Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN), recently submitted recommendations to Member States to control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries in advance of the Moscow Ministerial conference.
A PDF of the joint statement with logos of the groups is available here:
On August 7, 2008, Stewart Baker, the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, sent a one page letter and a three page “Policy Position on Border Measures of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”
Stewart Baker was the General Counsel of the National Security Agency from 1992 to 1994, and was appointed the first Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by George W Bush.
KEI just received the attached letter from the Executive Office of the President’s Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) rejecting our appeal of USTRs decision to withhold a study by the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service on ACTA that was done for Senator Wyden.
Ambassador Ron Kirk holds the office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the White House. On March 9, 2011, he testified before the US Senate Finance Committee on the 2011 Trade Agenda. Several members of the Committee provided follow up questions, and Ambassador Kirk has answered them. A full copy of the responses are available here:
Attached is a PDF of the proposal by the European Union that was presented at the April 15, 2011 informals in Geneva, held at the US Embassy. The European Union now proposes that WIPO adopt a soft non-binding recommendation on cross border sharing of accessible works, and then monitor progress on the issue for 3 to 5 years. Continue Reading