Welles Orr Commentary Regarding Posting of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement IP Chapter in Latin America Advisor

"How Should the Trans-Pacific Partnership Address IP?"
Latin America Advisor
11.26.13Welles Orr was quoted in a question and answer session regarding WikiLeaks' recent posting of a draft chapter on intellectual property from the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations. The leak coincided with separate letters written to President Barack Obama by U.S. House Democrats and Republicans opposing fast-track trade promotion authority. "The timing of the leak and the House letter was coincidental, but an unwelcome threat to the Obama trade agenda," Orr said. "While the leak was a troubling development in its own right, it was made more so because it exposed how far apart negotiators are on some of the key intellectual property provisions." He added, "The leak also stirred the pot of misinformation among TPP detractors by suggesting that negotiating text has already been agreed to. But the document was mostly bracketed--meaning no country has agreed to specific language." While some skeptics claim the leak proves the need for increased transparency in contentious negotiations, Orr said the Office of the United States Trade Representative has thoroughly vetted consultations with all key stakeholders and that a strong intellectual property chapters is key to concluding the 12-country TPP within the next two years.
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