[Ip-health] White House refuses FIOA request for documents on country positions on transparency of ACTA negotiations | Knowledge Ecology International

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Jan 10 09:46:25 PST 2013


On June 2, 2010, KEI submitted a FOIA request to the White House
Office of the United States Trade
Representative (USTR). The request covered:

1. Documents relating to the position of the United States as shared
with third-country negotiating partners during the 9th round
negotiations of ACTA that took place in Lucerne, Switzerland from June
28 to July 1, 2010, including but not limited to position papers,
analyses and records of verbal communications on the topic of the
public release of the draft negotiating text of the Anti
Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

2. Documents that identify the positions of any other country in the
ACTA negotiation during the Lucerne meeting on the issue of the
transparency of the draft ACTA text, including but not limited to
position papers, analyses and records of verbal communications.

On January 10, 2013, we received a response from Melissa Keppel,
Associate General Counsel for USTR. (Attached as PDF).

In the response, the White House claims there were no records for the
first item, and 16 pages of responsive records for the second item.
But the White House claimed all 16 pages "are exempt from disclosure
under the deliberative process prong of section (b)(5) of the FOIA."
So, two years and six months after the initial request, the White
House says that the positions of countries on the issue of ACTA
transparency are themselves not transparent, and part of the Obama
Administration's growing cloak of secrecy regarding trade


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