View Poll Results: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

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Thread: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

  1. #1
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    Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Should trade agreements between countries be secretive? I say no regardless of the trade agreement,apparently they must have something to hide to keep such something like this secret.



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    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    In general, secret trade agreements are normally abusive crap that sells out one or both nations and are keep hidden to avoid public backlash. There are rare circumstances where I would consider it appropriate to keep a treat under the blanket, but mostly the power is used abusively.

    ACTA is one of the worst examples of such abuse. It basically is a trick to get around legal rights by making a treaty for the express purpose of screwing over the general public. By making it secret, we can't even fight it until it is too late. Some documents were leaked, and they were pretty ugly. It basically seeks to create the "copyright police" who don't have to follow any sort of due process while charging people with infringement.

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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Never should trade agreements be secret.

    I am hoping ACTA gets shot to hell. The arrogance of those in the Media/Copyright business to try and do this. I hope India takes it to WTO and wins.


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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    In general, secret trade agreements are normally abusive crap that sells out one or both nations and are keep hidden to avoid public backlash. There are rare circumstances where I would consider it appropriate to keep a treat under the blanket, but mostly the power is used abusively.

    ACTA is one of the worst examples of such abuse. It basically is a trick to get around legal rights by making a treaty for the express purpose of screwing over the general public. By making it secret, we can't even fight it until it is too late. Some documents were leaked, and they were pretty ugly. It basically seeks to create the "copyright police" who don't have to follow any sort of due process while charging people with infringement.
    This totally.

    Nothing like this needs to be kept secret if it applies to us.
    Reminds me of Animal House and "double secret probation."
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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    This totally.

    Nothing like this needs to be kept secret if it applies to us.
    Reminds me of Animal House and "double secret probation."
    Kind of makes me wonder why the media did not report this or only provided a token mention of this.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Kind of makes me wonder why the media did not report this or only provided a token mention of this.
    Because most of the media is (I think) owned by the same companies that own the recording/producing companies who have a vested interest in seeing something of this sort pass?
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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Kind of makes me wonder why the media did not report this or only provided a token mention of this.
    Public apathy mostly. Intellectual property issues are not political hotbutton issues that get everyone all fired up, most people aren't even aware of what our current laws our. The media wants stories that get their readers all fired up.

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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    To be fair, it's not the agreement itself that's secretive, as there is no agreement yet. What were (until recently) being kept secret were the negotiations to produce such a trade agreement.

    On that point, I can see pros and cons. There are definitely some advantages to secrecy during the negotiation process. The parties involved are probably more willing to work together and be candid about their goals if there aren't any television cameras rolling. On the other hand, it prevents businesses and other stakeholders from weighing in until they see the final document. It would probably be simpler if companies like Google were able to make their position clear DURING negotiations, instead of having to oppose a final product that didn't take their interests into consideration.

    I don't know too much about this particular agreement...but assuming that the document that was released was just a framework rather than a finished product, it seems like now was probably a good time to release it. The governments were able to work together in secrecy to produce general goals, while still allowing citizens and businesses the opportunity to weigh in before it actually takes effect.
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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    The parties involved are probably more willing to work together and be candid about their goals if there aren't any television cameras rolling.
    You call that a pro? In this case, the parties involved are plotting to implement backdoor draconian copyright enforcement and using the secrecy to avoid any criticism while they do it.

    On the other hand, it prevents businesses and other stakeholders from weighing in until they see the final document. It would probably be simpler if companies like Google were able to make their position clear DURING negotiations, instead of having to oppose a final product that didn't take their interests into consideration.
    How about the citizens of this country who our elected officials are supposed to represent? This deal is not a corporate matter, it has major impact on the general public. Our interests should be paramount and we should be involved in the process.

    I don't know too much about this particular agreement...but assuming that the document that was released was just a framework rather than a finished product, it seems like now was probably a good time to release it. The governments were able to work together in secrecy to produce general goals, while still allowing citizens and businesses the opportunity to weigh in before it actually takes effect.
    The documents released were mostly leaks, not press-releases. All of the interesting material, like the data posted to wikileaks, certainly wasn't supposed to be made public.

  10. #10
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    Re: Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    You call that a pro? In this case, the parties involved are plotting to implement backdoor draconian copyright enforcement and using the secrecy to avoid any criticism while they do it.
    Well it would still have to be ratified by Congress before it could become law, and you can count on a ****storm from them for virtually ANY important treaty (and some that aren't so important).

    As I see it, the advantage of closed-door negotiations has nothing to do with sinister plots to pull the wool over the public's eyes. Closed-door negotiations can change bargaining power, just because of the way negotiations work. Suppose that the United States came to the table wanting X, Y, and Z, but would be satisfied getting X and getting a watered-down version of Z. If the cameras were rolling when the US demanded X, Y, and Z, then suddenly every critic in America would be piping in about how extreme and unrealistic that was...even if it wouldn't have been in the finished product anyway. And if the United States later gave up on Y (as it always intended to do when push came to shove) then critics would be bitching about what a weak appeaser the administration was.

    By keeping the actual negotiations secretive, you can encourage candor and increase the risk of actually producing a framework. Of course citizens and corporations should be able to weigh in before it becomes the law, but there's no reason to give them a seat at the negotiating table. That's why we have a government to do those things on our behalf. It isn't deceptive to do things this way. If you don't even have the framework for an agreement yet, then it doesn't make sense to give people the opportunity to randomly attack you for what agreements might or might not even make it out of negotiations.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-08-10 at 06:48 PM.
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