Progress Urged On ACTA

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday urged the Obama administration to work with its trading partners to continue progress on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The United States and the other countries involved in the ACTA negotiations are meeting this week in Guadalajara, Mexico for four days of talks focusing on such issues as civil enforcement, “border measures,” and “enforcement procedures in the digital environment.”

The agenda also includes a discussion on transparency, a key point of contention for critics of the deal who have called for a draft of the proposed agreement to be released to the public.

In a statement, Mark Esper, executive vice president of the chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center, said while his group also backs more transparency in the talks, “we must not allow ACTA to be derailed by a minority opposed to protecting the rights of artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs.” He added that his group recognizes “the constraints of international trade negotiations; however, we urge the administration to ensure the congressional committees of jurisdiction–as representatives of the American people–are fully briefed on the scope of the ACTA negotiations and why concluding this agreement expeditiously is in the country’s best interests.”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has said while it supports a transparent process, it must keep some details of the proposed agreement private in order to allow the negotiating parties to engage in a frank exchange of views.

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