Feb 152011

Click here for selected comments to USTR on ACTA from Civil Society Groups

Cick here for the complete docket of comments (ustr-2010-0014) on regulations.gov

Comment by Thirty Law Professors:

SUMMARY:   We write to call on the Obama administration to comply with the Constitution by submitting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to Congress for approval.

The executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter international agreements on intellectual property without congressional consent. The regulation of intellectual property and of foreign commerce, which are at the heart of ACTA’s terms, are Article I Section 8 powers of Congress; the President lacks constitutional authority to enter international agreements in this area as sole executive agreements lacking congressional authorization or approval.

The unconstitutionality of the process by which the Obama Administration intends to implement ACTA is further highlighted by the fact ACTA will constrain U.S. law by locking in the policy choices ACTA makes and the requirements it imposes.  The choice of whether to adopt substantive constraints on U.S. law must be made with Congressional participation. That participation is even more critical here, because ACTA was drafted and negotiated under unprecedented and deliberate secrecy — a non-accountable process that excludes the meaningful participation of a wide range of interests. The process by which ACTA was created and the means by which the Obama administration intends to implement it is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Together, they create a dangerous new process for international intellectual property lawmaking that should be rejected.

FULL SUBMISSION: ACTA Comment – Thirty Professors USTR-2010-0014


  8 Responses to “Comments to USTR Submitted for ACTA: Thirty Professors Say It Requires Congressional Approval”

  1. Minister Verhagen verstrekte Tweede Kamer verkeerde informatie over ACTA…

    Minister Verhagen en Eurocommissaris De Gucht staan lijnrecht tegenover elkaar wat betreft de vraag of de Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) bindend is. Tijdens een vergadering van de Tweede Kamer zei minister Verhagen dat ACTA niet boven Europ…

  2. […] by 30 legal and international trade scholars warned that the Obama Administration’s plan to implement ACTA without Congressional consent as a “sole executive agreement” is unconst…. Could that be the US defense? Sorry, we didn’t have the competence to bind the […]

  3. […] två veckor sedan kontaktade en grupp på 30 amerikanska professorer USTR (United States Trade Representative, som likt DG Trade för EU:s del är den ansvariga instansen […]

  4. […] in the context of major challenges to the legality of the implementation of ACTA in the EU and US. In the EU, there is a challenge under the Lisbon Treaty to the competence of the Commission to […]

  5. […] power. This point has been made repeatedly by US law professors with no effective rebuttal. See Submission to USTR of 30 Law Professors, Sean Flynn, ACTA’s Constitutional Problem, editorial by Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig […]

  6. […] authorization or approval. As reported previously, this assertion has been challenged by numerous legal scholars with no rebuttal by the Administration. Unfortunately, no one Congress seems concerned about this […]

  7. […] with no effective rebuttal.  ((ACTA to Be Signed – But Can it Enter into Force?, citing Submission to USTR of 30 Law Professors, Sean Flynn, ACTA’s Constitutional Problem, editorial by Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig […]

  8. […] This included an open letter from two Harvard Law Professors published in the Washington Post, a submission to USTR from 30 Law Professors, and in numerous published articles .  Senator Robn Wyden, Chair of the […]