The US Trade Representative claims that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, closed-door copyright treaty being negotiated in even greater secrecy than the notorious ACTA, is "transparent." Actually, he says it has "unprecedented" transparency, because an advisory group is allowed to see it under nondisclosure, and they're not lobbyists at all. Except they are. And except that the norm for copyright treaties used to be UN treaties, negotiated in full public view, not closed-door arm-twisting marathons where the US Trade Rep and a bunch of industry goons threaten foreign nations into signing onto agreements that even the US Congress couldn't pass into law.

28 Responses to “US Trade Rep doesn't know what "transparent" or "lobbyist" means”

  1. Capasitore says:

    What is the argument that the USTR uses to justify the secrecy? 

    • Cocomaan says:

      Are you kidding? They don’t think they need one.

    • elix says:

      “Trust us.”

      If they deem your pathetic commoner self worthy of having his nonsensical prattling heard by people actually worth anything (read: them), that is.

      I think that’s my snark for the morning, at least. Please also note that today it comes with a sharp aftertaste of facetiousness.

      I’m only snarking and joking because it keeps me from crying. We’ve been collectively digging this hole for decades, and the foremen on the surface would really like it if we stopped looking up and just kept digging for them.

    • Brad Bell says:

      Someone might steal their idea.

  2. digi_owl says:

    The more i read about all this, the more i feel that democracy is being undermined by concepts introduced for “free market” benefits. These agreements are treated more like contracts between companies, subject to secrecy to allow for competition. Given this, and the increasing influence that corporates policies has on our daily lives, i feel we may need to push for corporate contract transparency.

    • EH says:

      One definition of “free market” is “whatever sellers want.”

      • Cocomaan says:

        Right. If someone actually believes in a free market, I doubt they’d even support corporations, which are, duh, legal entities created by the government. 

        • digi_owl says:

          Actually, Adam Smith very much railed against corporate like entities in his “economic bible”. This because he wrote it at the height of the East Indies Company insanity. But all this is conveniently ignores when he gets quoted in defense of current corporatist practices…

    • Gulliver says:

      Free market my ass. Trusts using government lobbies to crush competition and beat customers into submission is the antithesis of a free market. Calling this free market is like saying Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella had freedom of religion. You can have a Ford in any color as long as it’s Catholic…

      • digi_owl says:

        Indeed. it is a bit like busybodies and such wrapping themselves in the flag and claiming they are doing the world a great favor by championing what they do. While the actual effect is that they are reverting to the days of the robber baron tycoon.

  3. technobach says:

    It has “unprecendented transparency” because nothing has ever had its level of secrecy.

    • A Nonny Moose says:

       Oh, so you’re saying he actually means “unprecedented (lack of) transparency”? It makes a little  more sense now.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It has “unprecedented transparency” because nothing has ever had its level of secrecy.

      And it’s wonderful because everyone is wondering how they expect to get away with this shit.  And awesome because we’re in awe of their arrogance and stupidity.  And wicked because….well that one’s pretty self-explanatory.

  4. Ipo says:

     Healthy forests, blue skies, Iraqi freedom,  patriotic acts, no child left behind and unprecedented transparency. 
    Really, do y’all need a translator?

  5. paulcarcosa says:

    If that is the case, would it not be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another? – Brecht

  6. elix says:

    I’m sure he does; he’s just hoping that America’s finally been dumbed down enough not to.

    Audit the fuckers with a scanning tunneling microscope. Every last one of them. In my lifetime I’ve watched corporations go from believing they are above the law to believing they not only ARE the law, but they furthermore deserve it.

    That, or let’s hurry up with the revolution so that we can start narrowing down the shortlist for who gets to be first against the wall (presumably the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation).

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Audit the fuckers with a scanning tunneling microscope.

      How about requiring a trans-anal ultrasound?

      • elix says:

        If you mean shoving subwoofers up their asses and playing Tchaikovsky (namely the 1812 Overture) at 11, with real cannons playing their part (externally, mind), on loop, I’m on board. Threaten the loudest complainers with having the cannons pointed at them for the next round of the loop.

        With any luck, the hearing damage and massive galloping runs will give the civilized world a chance at getting some real work done without these manchildren getting in the way.

        Edit: s/sticking a/shoving/, also the Pusher Robot should protect them.

      • Hegelian says:

        “How about requiring a trans-anal ultrasound?”

        Well, now that corporations are people, why don’t we just tell Republican state senators that the RIAA and the MPAA are planning on getting abortions–that’ll get the Republicans on their butts…

      • Ipo says:

         Can a trans-anal ultrasound be applied orally? 
        In that case, yes. 

  7. abstract_reg says:

     Can we spin “copyright” into “government regulation of industry” and let the Tea Zombies at it?

    • bunaen says:

      After reading “agreements that even the US Congress couldn’t pass into law” I caught myself thinking “Ya, the Tea Party Republicans would save us from the Democrats”.

      I have always thought that the political catastrophe could never exist that would drive me to look to those fat-ass Republicans for an answer.

      Things have come to a pretty pass.

  8. Daemonworks says:

    It was entirely transparent, nobody could see it.

  9. msbpodcast says:

    They are criminalizing the entire world with secret laws.

    Its Kafka-esque in its design. We can be accused of a crime, without knowing what it is, be tried without having to be present, and be hauled away into prison without defense.

    Its Stalin-esque in its implementation.

    I’m glad that I am old enough not to have to worry. I might die a little sooner, but its only a little. I am also glad that I am without issue, or I’d have to take issue with the bastards.

  10. apocalyptic_akai_tsuki_no_sora says:

    Seriously this FTC should go back to science class.

  11. IndexMe says:

    It is interesting how the complete, egregious steamrolling over human rights and sensibilities is radicalizing such a huge segment of the population. It’s like there really does exist a secret cabal itching for a fight. I’m waiting for it to go asymptotic when the fools come out and publish their real names. The interesting part is that Americans unlike the citizens of many other countries do have a right to speak out against injustice, not that it has been doing much help though.

  12. sengssk says:

    Dear Greeks, on behalf of the world I beg you to default and leave the Euro. This will bring down the entire Eurozone and hopefully the entire Basel III/IMF/WTO/TRIPS house of cards that must collapse sooner or later. It will be painful at first but necessity will led to an exciting new era of re-discovering how to manufacture things within their own borders without the need for financial alchemists.

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