Strategy Meeting on Catalyzing Reform of Trade Negotiation Processes
Where: Open Society European Policy Institute, Rue du Trône 130 , Brussels B-1050, Belgium
Registration: Registrations closed on 21 December. For late registration enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited travel funding is available for those in need.
In trade negotiation processes such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), rules on issues such as intellectual property, data protection and privacy, e-commerce and intermediary liability, are being made in an opaque and captured fashion, trading off the rights of users and citizens against the promise of unrelated concessions on trade in agricultural and manufactured goods. The resulting rules tend therefore not to be those that further the global public interest, but the interests of the partner with the largest market, or more specifically, those of its trade ministry and those who lobby it.
There is now an emerging consensus that the manner in which trade negotiations are being undertaken is significantly out of step with citizens' expectations, and is likely unsustainable. At the same time, the reticence of trade ministries, notably the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to meet this need for change is equally evident. To address this challenge we are opening a private expert dialogue about possible reforms to processes of trade negotiation that bear on these Internet-related issues, that would bring them in line with norms of transparency and public participation, drawn in part from the discourse surrounding Internet governance.
Outputs from the meeting will be:
- Identification of where the necessary impetus for the reform or replacement of trade negotiation processes can be found through the intermediation of persuasive external forces.
- Development of a strategy and a resource plan for creating that impetus in partnership with one or more of the institutions identified.
- Assembling a core group of stakeholders who could put this into action by initiating such a partnership, individually or as a coalition.
Output documents from the meeting:
- Meeting report (PDF format, 235kb)
- Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet (PDF format, 75kb)
- Idea Rating Sheets archive (PDF format, 154kb)
The objective of the meeting is to use its outputs to stimulate the intervention of selected powerful external international actors to create an inflection point leading to dramatic change to the closed, trade negotiation processes that currently deal with international Internet-related public policy issues, thereby meeting the need of users and citizens worldwide for more balanced, human rights-respecting rules and policies on these issues.
a. Meeting logistics and working documents:
- Meeting logistics and information brochure (PDF format, 699kb)
- Idea Rating Sheets analysis from preparatory meetings (Excel format, 110kb).
- Draft Brussels Declaration on Trade Negotiations and the Internet (now see above)
- Background document (PDF format, 516kb)
b. Papers and articles:
- Susan Aaronson (2015). Memo on "Strategies to Increase Public Trust and Accountability in US Trade Policymaking". Washington, DC: GWU.
- Susan Aaronson (2016). The Digital Trade Imbalance and Its Implications for Internet Governance. Global Commission on Internet Governance Paper Series no. 25.
- Commission on Science and Technology for Development (2014). The mapping of international Internet public policy issues. Geneva: UNCTAD.
- EFF (2015). U.S. Open Government Commitments Fail to Improve Trade Transparency. San Francisco: EFF.
- EFF (2013). Unintended Consequences: Fifteen Years under the DMCA. San Francisco: EFF.
- Sherly Haristya and Peng Hwa Ang (2015). Multistakeholderism and the Problem of Democratic Deficit. Singapore: NUS.
- Jeremy Malcolm (2015). Time to Reconsider Intellectual Property as a Trade Issue? San Francisco: EFF.
- Jeremy Malcolm (2015). Criteria of meaningful stakeholder inclusion in internet governance. Internet Policy Review, 4(4).
- Jeremy Malcolm (2010). Public Interest Representation in Global IP Policy Institutions. PIJIP Research Paper no. 6. Washington, DC: American University
Washington College of Law.
- Principles for Intellectual Property Provisions in Bilateral and Regional Agreements (2012). Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.
- Mark Raymond and Laura DeNardis (2015). Multistakeholderism: anatomy of an inchoate global institution. International Theory, 7, pp 572-616.
- Mark Raymond (2013). Puncturing the Myth of the Internet as a Commons. Georgetown Journal for International Affairs, 5, pp 5-15.
- Jens Steffek and Claudia Kissling (2006). Civil Society Participation in International Governance: The UN and the WTO Compared. TranState Working Papers no. 42. Bremen: University of Bremen.
- Raymundo Valdés and Maegan McCann (2014). Intellectual Property Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements: Revision and Update. Geneva: WTO.
- Craig VanGrasstek (2013). Relations with other organizations and civil society, in The History and Future of the World Trade Organization. Geneva: WTO, ch. 5, pp.151-197.
- Sacha Wunsch-Vincent and Arno Hold (2011). Towards coherent rules for digital trade: Building on efforts in multilateral versus preferential trade negotiations. Working Paper No 2011/64. Geneva: NCCR.
- Day 1 (Background and Idea Rating Sheets)
- Day 2 (Results and group activity)
- IG and Trade: Fora, Processes and Lessons Learned (M Shears)
- Slides on IP in trade agreements (C Rossini)
- Lessons for Trade Negotiations from Development and Environmental Bodies and Processes (D James)
- The Digital Trade Imbalance and its Implications for Internet Governance (S Aaronson)
- The Rapid Globalisation of Trade Agreements in the Digital Era: Building a Consumer-centric Model (S Hourani and A Karanasiou)
- Modelling Participatory Processes (S Anderson)
Day 1 – January 27, 2016
- Registration (9:00)
- Welcome and Opening Remarks (9:30)
- Presentations on Institutions and Global Policy Making (9:45)
- Global Internet Governance (M Shears) (9:45)
- Trade (C Rossini and B Kilic) (10:15)
15 minute break (10:45)
- United Nations (N Ashton-Hart) (11:00)
- Development (D James) (11:30)
- Discussion (12:00)
- Lunch (12:30)
- Summary of Preparatory Workshops (14:00)
- Idea Rating Activity (14:30)
- Idea Rating Instructions and Questions to be Addressed (14:30)
- Silent Individual Jotting of Answers on Scrap Paper (14:35)
- Share Answers Around Table, Discuss, and Write Ideas on Sheets (14:45)
- Record Feedback via Voting and Commenting on Sheets (15:20)
- Call Dotting to a Close, Collect Sheets (15:50)
15 minute break (15:55)
- Review Sample of Popular Results (16:10)
- Next Steps & Closing Remarks (16:40)
- Close (17:00)
Day 2 – January 28, 2016
- Recap (9:00)
- Sorting and Prioritizing Ideas (9:15)
- Discussion of Ideas (9:30)
15 minute break (10:30)
- Form Self-Directed Groups to Volunteer to take Ideas Forward (10:45)
- First Rotation (10:45)
- Second Rotation (11:15)
- Report back from Self-Directed Groups (11:45)
- Lunch (12:00)
- Strategic Plan Outlining (D Sobel) (13:30)
- Discuss Resources and Outreach (M Sutton) (13:45)
- Presentations on Related Initiatives (14:00)
- The Digital Trade Imbalance and Its Implications for Internet Governance (S Aaronson) (14:00)
- Globalization of Trade Agreements in the Digital Era (A Karanasiou and S Hourani) (14:15)
- Crowdsourced engagement process to inform public policy (S Anderson) (14:45)
- Discussion of Related Initiatives (15:00)
15 minute break (15:30)
- Drafting Statement from Meeting (15:45)
- Next Steps & Closing Remarks (16:45)
- Close (17:00)