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Michael Rogers has been with the International Trade Administration for 10 years. He currently serves as a Senior International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights.
On April 28, I played host to a meeting of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). TACD is a forum of U.S. and EU consumer organizations which advocate on behalf of consumers in both the United States and Europe. Its membership includes 51 European organizations and 28 U.S. organizations. Its U.S. members include such diverse groups as AARP, Knowledge Ecology International, Public Knowledge, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
TACD members from both the United States and Europe gathered in the Department of Commerce’s main auditorium to discuss the impact the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may have on consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. ACTA is intended to assist in the efforts of governments around the world including the United States and the European Union and its 27 member states to more effectively enforce their intellectual property rights. This is important to help combat the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods, which undermines legitimate trade and the sustainable development of the world economy, and in some cases contributes to organized crime and exposes American and European families to dangerous fake products. To learn more about ACTA and to read the draft text of the agreement, please visit the website of the U.S. Trade Representative at www.ustr.gov/acta.
The timing of the TACD discussion was fortuitous because on April 21, the United States and other ACTA negotiating parties released a draft text of the agreement so that the public could review agreement. The TACD event was the perfect opportunity for someone like me who works on ACTA and participates in the negotiations on behalf of ITA to listen to the views that TACD members have regarding the ACTA agreement. I took a lot of notes on what the speakers had to say and plan to share them with my colleagues.