[TechDirt] EU's Chief Negotiator Has Learned Nothing From ACTA, Will Negotiate TAFTA In Secret

The EU trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, was a driving force behind ACTA, and apparently he's learned nothing about why ACTA failed so spectacularly in Europe. MEP Christian Engstrom pointed out to De Gucht that a big part of the reason why ACTA failed was the lack of transparency, and asked him to be more transparent with TAFTA (the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, but which many are calling TTIP -- for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). De Gucht's response was to insist that he cannot negotiate transparently, and then to outright mock Parliament for suggesting that it has a role in the negotiations. […]

Plenty of international agreements are negotiated with significantly greater transparency than what happened in ACTA, what's happening now with TPP and what's likely with TAFTA/TTIP. Governments can and should reveal the basic things they are negotiating for, to allow for some level of public comment. But that's not what happens. Things are negotiated in secret, in backrooms, with the help of industry lobbyists, and at the end we're given a "take it or leave it" document, which then (in most cases) is rammed through with little debate. It's the opposite of democracy. […]