Is the USTR actively working against the interests of the American people?

The next great innovative companies come out of a world where giving the public exactly what it wants is key, and part of that is an openness and transparency that brings those consumers into the process. But the USTR is supporting the 1950s vision of giant monolithic companies deciding what the public wants, and fighting any attempt to actually work with the public. 

Over the last few weeks, since the draft of the TPP IP chapter leaked, I’ve been puzzling over just why the USTR appears to be actively working against the interests of the American people, jobs, innovation and the economy with the proposal. Frankly, the USTR’s extreme position makes no sense at all. Yes, the USTR is heavily influenced by patent and copyright maximalists that it placed on the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) it relies on for input on its negotiating position. Yes, there’s a tremendous revolving door between maximalist lobbyists and the USTR. Yes, the main guy negotiating this part of the agreement is a long term maximalist extremist who can’t even comprehend the idea that locking up information and knowledge might be a bad thing. 

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