[ComputerWorld] TTIP Update IV
One of the key issues during the ACTA negotiations was transparency - or rather the lack of it. Despite a few token gestures from the European Commission initially, TAFTA/TTIP looks like it will be just as bad. Here's a rather cheap trick the negotiators have just played :
Surprise! The second round of negotiations for the massive Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) won’t be happening in Washington, DC in December as planned. It will be happening in six days. In Belgium. [...]
The recent move of the National Assembly of South Korea to mandate the HRIA was influenced by the efforts of the UN human rights bodies. The lawmaker, Mr. Buh, proposed a bill to amend the Law on the Treaty-Making Process and Implementation of Trade Agreements (Trade Process Act), which includes an amendment making compulsory the HRIA on every trade pacts that are likely to be agreed upon with trade partners.
This is an important move, because it begins the long journey of re-balancing trade agreements around the world so that they take in account human rights and therefore, by implication, the public interest as well as corporate profit. Although it's not clear whether the Korean initiative will succeed, it does at least raise the issue in a political context. We now need to start similar conversations here in the EU and in the US regarding TAFTA/TTIP if that agreement is to have any claim to fairness and legitimacy.