• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?

Should trade agreements between countries be secretive?


  • Total voters
    14

jamesrage

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
34,402
Reaction score
16,255
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Last edited:

rathi

Count Smackula
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
7,890
Reaction score
4,730
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
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.
 

Laila

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
10,100
Reaction score
2,990
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
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.
 

Harry Guerrilla

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
28,955
Reaction score
12,423
Location
Not affiliated with other libertarians.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
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."
 

jamesrage

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
34,402
Reaction score
16,255
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
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.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
Monthly Subscriber
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,010
Reaction score
6,498
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
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?
 

rathi

Count Smackula
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
7,890
Reaction score
4,730
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
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.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
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.
 

rathi

Count Smackula
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
7,890
Reaction score
4,730
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
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.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
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:

Camlon

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
2,854
Reaction score
567
Location
Oslo, Norway
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Actually it is much harder to screw your own population over in the US, because the political system gives opportunity for more people to become senate member. I don't think americans should worry too much about issues being implemented behind doors.

However, look to Europe and you will see a lot of party politics. Because every single party, even among parties is a tiny knit community. Also when they vote, everyone in the same party vote the same. Because if you want to get into politics, then you have to go through the party, be extremly popular in that party and be elected an representative. Then the government can ratify laws that very few people approve.
 

jamesrage

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
34,402
Reaction score
16,255
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Actually it is much harder to screw your own population over in the US, because the political system gives opportunity for more people to become senate member. I don't think americans should worry too much about issues being implemented behind doors.
I have to disagree.
We have politicians who do not think it is their job to read the bills they vote yes for( along with lots of idiots who think this as well), politicians who sneak in unrelated legislation into bills, politicians who toss the salad of companies, politcians who do not give a rats ass what voters want especially when it will be a while before they have to run again, voters with short attention span or memory and politicians who will try to make it sound like we need this and there is alternative. So it would be very easy for them to sneak something like this through.
 
Top Bottom