Leesburg, Va. – As a round of negotiations on the
Trans-Pacific Partnership begins, public
interest groups are joining members of
Congress in their call for more transparency of the key nine-country trade
agreement that’s being billed as the 21st Century Trade Agreement.
Canada and Mexico are scheduled to join the next round of talks in December and
the treaty is expected to cover broad trade provisions for nations that make up
a third of the world’s economy.
CCIA, which will have three representatives at the Leesburg
talks, Jonathan Band, Gary Horlick and Matt Schruers, has been concerned about
rumors the agreement will add liabilities for Internet Service Providers. The
TPP would export some provisions of the US’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act
to other countries. But without also adding protections, the US could be
essentially handing other countries a stick in the form of legal liabilities of
US tech companies as well as our trading partners’ innovation sector.
“If we increase international intellectual property
enforcement without also expanding protections for Internet services and
platforms, we will create an international system hostile to the export of
Internet services, where the U.S. has an extraordinary trade advantage. We
must ensure that we do not create a trade agreement that cripples one of our
most successful industries," said CCIA Vice President Schruers.
During the last round of negotiations in July, CCIA supported
USTR’s proposed addition to the TPP to address copyright exceptions and
limitations, but CCIA’s full range of concerns on issues including trademark
fair use and the issue of buffer and temporary copies.