14 April 2013

How Multilateral Free Trade Agreements Are Bypassing Democratic Decision-Making Around The World

One of the most worrying aspects of ACTA -- which began life as a "simple" treaty about combatting counterfeit goods -- was how it morphed into a new approach to global policy making. This had two key aspects. First, the treaty would be negotiated in secret, with minimal input from the public, but plenty from lobbyists, who were given access to key documents and to negotiators. Secondly, the results of those secret negotiations were designed to constrain the participating governments in important ways that nullified ordinary democratic decision-making. If at all, representative bodies were presented with a take-it-or-leave it choice; changing individual details was not an option.

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