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Press review about TAFTA

[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XXI

[...] despite the European Commission's claims to the contrary, there was simply no evidence of any meaningful transparency in TTIP. However, that changed today, when the Commission announced its consultation on investor-state dispute settlement. [...]

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XX

Glyn Moody takes to task several claims to transparency made in the European Commission's recently published document "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): We're listening and engaging".

[TechDirt] US-EU Relations After Two Important Votes In European Parliament

Glyn Moody's analysis of the major outcomes of two important votes in the European Parliament, one on data protection and the other on NSA surveillance. With regard to data protection, the regulation, would restrict data transfers to non-EU countries, deterrent fines for companies that break the rules, better protection of data on the internet, e.g. introducing the right to have one's personal data erased.

[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XIX

Glyn Moody describes how, following a recent leak of the ISDS chapter of the CETA treaty, was analysed and an important loophole was discovered. Because of this, Moody writes, "Rupert Schlegelmilch, director of services, investment and procurement at DG Trade, speaking on behalf of the Commission [...] the EU is rethinking a “Most Favoured Nation” (MFN) article in the CETA investment chapter that new analysis suggests undermines much of the more careful language in the treaty relating to a government's ability to regulate.

[TechDirt] Even The German Government Wants Corporate Sovereignty Out Of TAFTA/TTIP

The German federal government rejects special rights for corporations in the free trade agreement between the EU and the USA. [...]

[IP-Watch] TTIP Still In ‘Exploratory’ Phase On GIs; Data Flows Tied To Privacy Regimes

[...] After round four of the TTIP negotiations between the European Union and United States this week in Brussels, the lead negotiators could not offer anything that looks easy in the talks. [...]

Questions on the nature of an IP chapter for the TTIP were not answered at press time.

[...]Bercero reiterated that TTIP is “not the right place to address the differences of view that need to be resolved as far as data privacy is concerned.” [...]

[TechDirt] Will Cheese Derail TAFTA/TTIP?

Glyn Moody considers the use of "geographical indicators" (GI) in TAFTA. They are used to protect the use the expression "Belgian chocolates" but also "Feta cheese". The US is strongly opposed to this, as it would potentially ban the use of such names on US American products. Quoted by The Guardian newspaper, the EU stated that Feta for example, "is so closely connected to Greece as to be identified as an inherently Greek product."

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XVIII

Summary: New leaks, new Web sites, a hidden threat from the "most-favoured nation" approach, and an astonishing claim that Germany wants ISDS out of TTIP

[Spiegel] TTIP, Freihandelsabkommen, EU, USA

Das hoch umstrittene transatlantische Freihandelsabkommen steht auf der Kippe. Der Widerstand ist offenbar auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks so groß, dass die TTIP-Gespräche vorerst zu scheitern drohen.

Tot ist das TTIP-Freihandelsabkommen noch nicht - aber es sieht nicht gut aus für das derzeit ehrgeizigste transatlantische Projekt.

[...]

[30C3] Investor-to-state Dispute Settlement: A Threat To Democracy

Lightning conference that Ante gave at the 30C3, the 30th Chaos communication conference of the German CCC, in Hamburg on 28 December 2013.

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XVII

[...] President Obama nominated Robert Holleyman as deputy U.S. trade representative. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Holleyman will help lead the effort to pass the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. [...] Holleyman is a former lobbyist who led efforts to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, better known as SOPA [...] Holleyman [...] is no friend of open source.

[WashingtonPost] Obama picks yet another industry lobbyist for key trade post

[...] The Hill reports that President Obama has tapped Robert Holleyman to be a deputy USTR. Holleyman is a former lobbyist for BSA, a software industry group that represents companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle as members. [...]

Stronger anti-piracy measures may be in the interest of BSA's member companies, but they're not necessarily in the interests of the American technology sector more generally, or in the public interest. Excessive legal protections can create legal uncertainty and discourage innovation. [...]

[EurActiv] TTIP 'challenged' by environmental critics, EU says

Plans for a sweeping EU-US free trade deal known as TTIP risk being blown off course by civil society fears about the damage it could wreak on environmental and social protections, according to a leaked EU document seen by EurActiv. [...]

[NYTimes] No Big Deal

[...] [Krugman] The first thing you need to know about trade deals in general is that they aren’t what they used to be. The glory days of trade negotiations — the days of deals like the Kennedy Round of the 1960s, which sharply reduced tariffs around the world — are long behind us.

[...] But the fact remains that, these days, “trade agreements” are mainly about other things. What they’re really about, in particular, is property rights — things like the ability to enforce patents on drugs and copyrights on movies.

[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XVI

Glyn Moody's next entry in his series on TTIP/TAFTA negotiations. He writes about the US requesting that "EU regulators be required to publish the proposed texts of regulations and open them to public comment" and rebutes several common arguments in defense of ISDS (Investor-state Dispute Settlement). Some argue that in state-investor litigation, decisions generally are in favour of countries, but, Moody writes, this is true only when you consider the aggregate data over 20 years. It is cearly false if you consider recent years.