President Obama and USTR's Ron Kirk Support ACTA Despite EU Parliament 663- 13 Vote Rejecting the Agreement

Hauwa Otori
March 15, 2010

On March 10, the EU Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in a 663 to 13 vote.  The main reasons for this vote involves the disapproval of ACTA secrecy and also the restrictions placed on consumer and civil rights. Despite this resounding vote against ACTA, both President Obama and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk have shown continued support for the agreement.  In a speech at the Import-Export bank a day after the EU vote occured, President Obama stated:

"What's more, we're going to aggressively protect our intellectual property. Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people. It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century. But it's only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can't just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor. There's nothing wrong with other people using our technologies, we welcome it -- we just want to make sure that it's licensed, and that American businesses are getting paid appropriately. That's why USTR is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

With the next round of ACTA negotiations coming up in April 2010 which will be held in New Zealand, it is possible that this vote may serve as a turning point for these secret negotiations. For more information the EU Parliament vote, please visit:





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