In the area of Transparency, KEI works on several different topics, including for example: Norm setting. KEI has advocated access to meeting venues, timely disclosures of negotiating texts, and the use of webcasting of meetings, among other measures. Trade negotiations… Continue Reading


The USTR’s Special 301 Report has been issued every year beginning in 1989. The Executive Summary of the 2009 report says: The “Special 301” Report is an annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and… Continue Reading

14 March 2017 – Senate Finance Committee grills Robert Lighthizer (USTR nominee) on trade and IPR policies

On 14 March 2017, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held confirmation hearings for Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump’s appointee for United States Trade Representative. During the Reagan administration, Lighthizer served as Deputy US Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador (Source: Prior to his tenure as Deputy USTR, from 1981 to 1983, Lighthizer served as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Currently, he is a partner at Skadden Arps. Continue Reading

KEI Comments filed in 2017 USTR Special 301 Review

On February 9, 2017, KEI filed written comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Special 301 Review process.

The Special 301 Review is an annual process carried out by the USTR to, “to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.”

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US, AU and CA try to block WTO LDC drug patent waiver because PhRMA’s not happy enough with the TPP

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meet this week in Geneva (15 October 2015 – 16 October 2015) to decide if the poorest countries on earth are exempt from WTO rules for pharmaceutical patents. The WTO’s TRIPS Council is expected to make a decision in respect of the request of the LDC Group’s request for indefinite exemption from TRIPS obligations on pharmaceutical patents. Continue Reading

WTO Trade Policy Review of the United States: USTR deflects questions from India on compulsory licensing (December 2014)

On 16 December 2014 and 18 December 2014, the World Trade Organization (WTO) undertook a trade policy review of the United States of America. All members of the WTO are subject to review under the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). Continue Reading

EU’s TTIP Anti-Transparency Rules laid out in DG-Trade letter to USTR

Previously, KEI reported on the terms of reference (TOR) for the confidentiality of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts, as laid out in a letter by USTR to DG-Trade. Although evidently publicly available, the EU counterpart of that letter was not accessible through the FOIA process. Obtained through the EU Regulation (EC) No. Continue Reading

TTIP: Anti-Transparency Rules laid out in USTR letter to DG-Trade

KEI has obtained the terms of reference (TOR) for the confidentiality of the negotiating texts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement. The TOR are laid out in a two-page letter from US Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney to EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero which is available here. The letter was obtained through a FOIA request filed by KEI with the USTR on May 19, 2014.

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