2014: Cyber-Espionage and Trade Agreements: An Ill-Fitting and Dangerous Combination

Yesterday’s leak of a May 2014 draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement revealed the addition of new text criminalizing the misuse of trade secrets through “computer systems”, as mentioned in our previous post about the leak. This is a significant revelation because we also know that trade secrets are planned for inclusion in the EU-US free trade agreement, TTIP (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The revelation of the proposed text in the TPP provides a good indication that the same kind of language will likely also appear in TTIP. Frighteningly, this text contains no protections to safeguard the public interest. Today we delve into this provision and its background in more depth. Why Trade Secrets, and Why Now? The US Trade Representative’s sudden interest in trade secret protection arises largely from reports of widespread cyber-espionage against US companies emanating from China. This has also led to domestic […] Read More

2014: NAFTA And The Next Phase Of North American Integration

By Dana Gabriel Be Your Own Leader This article has been generously donated by Dana Gabriel In preparation for the upcoming North American Leaders Summit which will be held in Toluca, Mexico on February 19, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently held a meeting with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. Over the last number of years, not as much attention has been given to the trilateral relationship. Instead, the U.S. has essentially pursued a dual-bilateral approach with both Canada and Mexico on key issues including border and continental perimeter security, as well as regulatory and energy cooperation. On the heels of its 20th anniversary, there once again appears to be renewed interest in broadening and deepening the NAFTA partnership as part of the next phase of North American integration. On January 17, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted the North American Ministerial with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and […] Read More