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Obama implies ACTA enforcement during SOTU speech

It’s no secret that President Obama approves of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), since the U.S. has signed the agreement along with several other countries in 2011. If you aren’t familiar with ACTA, you need to get familiar with it, fast. The premise of ACTA is to combat piracy and counterfiet goods, however with all the undermining issues with the agreement it’s hard to think that such an agreement would ever be signed on by Obama and the U.S.

Currently ACTA is not “law” in the U.S., as it would need ratification under Congress, but it is an International Trade Agreement, and under International situations ACTA obligations would take precedence.

During the 2012 State of the Union speech by Obama, he said the following:

We’re also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements I signed into law, we are on track to meet that goal – ahead of schedule. Soon, there will be millions of new customers for American goods in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Soon, there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit, and Toledo, and Chicago.

I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.

Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.

With those words, to myself it’s clear that in order for the U.S. to go after piracy outside of our borders, Obama will need the cooperation of other countries, and the only way he is going to get that is with ACTA.  After reading about ACTA, if you are in disagreement with it, I urge you to go and sign the petition to keep ACTA out of the U.S. and to help protect our rights online.


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