Q: Did you hear much concern about Buy American provisions? It has been suggested that if Canada would only adopt stricter U.S.-style intellectual property rights laws, then we would be quickly rewarded with an exemption from Buy American rules. Do you agree?
A: I heard a lot about Buy American. I probably heard more about Buy American than any other single topic. At some meeting in Alberta, I said it was a pleasure to be at a meeting for two hours and not hear comments on Buy American—at which point the first question was about Buy American. I understand the concerns the Canadian people have. The President believes very strongly in free trade. There have been a lot of discussions and they have been constructive. That’s all I can say.
As for whether if only we could solve intellectual property rights, then Buy American would go away, I do not agree with that. They are two separate issues and stand on their own. We are very concerned about intellectual property laws in Canada. We don’t think they are in the best interest of Canadians or Americans, but that is a separate issue that we have not linked.
Well, Ambassador, a lot of Canadians don’t think U.S. Intellectual Property Laws are in the best interest of Americans or Canadians either. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 comes to mind. Do you have any proof (specifically peer reviewed studies) proving that the DMCA has any benefit to the citizens of the United States? And if you don’t have any proof, when do you intend to provide it?
For that matter, when are you going to admit that the United States is not in compliance with either of the WIPO copyright treaties? And when is the United States going to bring itself into compliance with the Berne Convention?
It would be nice to have these questions addressed, before you tell us how to re-write our copyright laws. After all, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.
Oh, and a final comment – do your own citizens approve of the actions of your government in trying to export the DMCA to other countries? And if they don’t, why are you doing it? Don’t bother mentioning treaties that you haven’t implemented as the reason. Rather, you should consider that you come from what is supposed to be a Democracy. Supposed to be. From my viewpoint it seems more like a Corporate Oligarchy.