Groups Hoping Ron Kirk Will Advance ACTA Negotiations

The business community and privacy watchdogs are carefully following comments by U.S. Trade Representative-designate Ron Kirk in hopes he can help advance an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that the United States and several trading partners have been working on for more than a year. But transparency is also a concern. Many stakeholders say the talks, which began in October 2007 and include Canada, the European Union, Japan and Mexico, have been too secretive. Kirk gave some reassurance earlier this week when he told the Senate Finance Committee in a written response to questions that ACTA is an “early priority.” He added he is “committed to working very closely with Congress and all interested stakeholders on all of our trade agreements and negotiations, including ACTA.” The committee approved his nomination Thursday, and he is expected to win Senate confirmation next week.

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