After publishing my last post about AJFTA, I sent the negotiating team some questions regarding the trade agreement, specifically regarding what kind of provisions the IP chapter contained. 11 days later I get another boilerplate response that doesn’t even come to close to answering, let alone acknowledging, my questions.
It’s offensive when a bilateral trade agreement is treated with more secrecy than even the TPP, so I responded reiterating that they are being much more opaque than the “international standards” they continue to cite, and so have all of their colleagues when discussing other treaties with me. I look forward to receiving a response in 3 months.
As a Pirate, I believe that international cooperation is paramount to the success of our movement. It seems, however, that when it comes to applying the other parts of our ethos: making good use of technology and innovative democratic participation, we fall flat on the international level.
I noticed that talk about the Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement has popped up on twitter again. This reminded me that I had emailed DFAT before I had this blog to ask about this treaty. I received a pretty damn opaque response, two months after I sent the email.
Basically, AJFTA contains an IP chapter, and they will not be showing anybody the text before it is signed. That’s literally all the information in this email.