Enhance Special 301 Process
The USTR annually releases its Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of IP rights protection by U.S. trading partners. Since the enactment of Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, the USTR has played a key role in the development of intellectual property laws worldwide and has monitored efforts by other governments to protect IP rights.
The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 created the Special 301 mechanism that assesses U.S. trading partners’ protection of IP rights. Countries may be designated in the categories of Priority Watch List, Watch List, or Section 306 monitoring status. In 2011, USTR reviewed 77 trading partners for the Special 301 Report. USTR placed 42 trading partners on the Priority Watch List, Watch List, or Section 306 monitoring list.