IP is Not a Trade-Off

Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released the Administration’s 2012 Trade Agenda. In this agenda, the administration highlights the importance of “promoting trade policy that keeps pace with 21st century innovation can support the growth of well-paying IP trade-related jobs in the United States.”

Promoting intellectual property rights and their enforcement through international trade agreements is an essential tool for fostering American competitiveness in the global market.

While 95% of the market lies beyond our borders, our most creative and dynamic IP-intensive industries—from biopharmaceuticals to business software to films and music —must focus on exporting to drive growth.

Selling products abroad in markets which respect trademarks, patents, and copyrights is necessary for these job creators at home. The pursuit of strong IP provisions in trade agreements is essential to our IP-intensive industries and the more than 19 million Americans that they employ. With 60 percent of our exports driven by IP-intensive industries, the competitiveness of our innovative and creative industries rides on such protections.

We commend the administration’s push for “state-of-the-art protection and enforcement of IP rights” in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and enhancement of the Special 301 process, including through Out-of-Cycle reviews of Notorious Markets.

We also continue to urge those at the negotiating tables, whether at the TPP or elsewhere, to resist attempts to weaken intellectual property rights. The future of our innovative economy depends on it.

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