October 25, 2016

Chambers to Congress: Stand up for Intellectual Property

Hundreds of issues come across congressional desks each year; many of them inspire the heated debates currently dominating the airwaves.

But there’s one issue that can unite Congress across party lines: the need for robust intellectual property protections.

In a new letter, 150 state and local chambers of commerce united to urge members of Congress to protect the intellectual property at the heart of millions of American jobs and businesses.

The letter recognizes that intellectual property has been “an engine of economic growth for our Nation, offering innovators and creators the promise of a return on their investments of time and resources.”

Intellectual property protections – namely, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets – have empowered the American innovator, and the American innovator has certainly delivered.

From the cellphone to the moon landing; from the latest cancer treatments to the hottest albums and movies, American innovation seeps into every industry and into every corner of the economy.

Strong IP policies create high-quality, high-paying American jobs, boost American competitiveness and export growth, and advance market growth.

In fact, IP-intensive industries employ 45 million Americans working in 81 different industries. That’s almost a third of the workforce. IP contributes more than $6 trillion dollars to, or 38.2 percent of, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

Stepping outside of the data and figures and facts, the message is still clear: American ideas and American innovation are the foundation of American jobs, businesses, and economic growth.

And intellectual property is at the heart of it all.

Mark Elliot is executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. 

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