May 22, 2014

IP Can Deliver in Partnership

By Aaron Smethurst

While officials from 12 countries recently met in Vietnam to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S. negotiators are also hard at work on another trade agreement during World Trade Month: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Meeting in Arlington, VA, negotiators from the United States and the European Union will work through provisions of the TTIP agreement this week. Ahead of the fifth round of negotiations, U.S. Chamber Vice President Marjorie Chorlins noted that “We’re in that phase where people are rolling up their sleeves and they’re delving into the really hard work.”

This week the lead negotiators from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade (DG Trade) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative will meet to develop the framework for a strong IP chapter which will improve upon the already robust IP protections in both the United States and the EU. However, the TTIP IP chapter could also provide a new standard of IP protection, which other countries around the world can emulate in order to best protect their own innovators and creators.

The importance of IP is well-documented through data on both sides of the pond. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, IP-intensive industries account for $5 trillion of U.S. GDP, 60% of U.S. exports, and 40 million American jobs. Late last year, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) released a similar study, which found that IP-intensive industries create 77 million jobs and generate 40% of the total economic activity throughout the EU.

The establishment of a robust IP framework with protection and enforcement mechanisms in TTIP will be crucial to ensuring that IP-intensive companies in both the United States and Europe can continue to bring new products to market, in turn furthering economic growth and job creation. The opportunity for the United States to collaborate with the Europe Union creates an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the level of global innovation. We look forward to hearing how this week’s negotiations enable the United States and Europe to seize the opportunity to further innovation, promote growth, and stimulate economic competitiveness.


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