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Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty Draft Stresses Commerical Risks
A six-page summary of talks on an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement released today by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative emphasizes that “the intended focus is on counterfeiting and piracy activities that significantly affect commercial interests, rather than on the activities of ordinary citizens.” That seeks to pacify some interests who feared the deal will increase government’s power to conduct searches and seizures of passengers’ laptops and iPods at the border. The pact “is not intended to interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect its citizens’ fundamental rights and civil liberties,” the summary added, and will honor the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement. The new USTR summary provides a broad outline of negotiators’ definitions and objectives with respect to civil and criminal enforcement measures. The summary sheds new light on more than a year’s worth of negotiations between the United States and several trading partners.