February 16, 2011

U.S. Chamber Commends Congressional Support for Strong IP Protections in TPP Negotiations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today commended Congress for its support of strong protection for America’s intellectual property (IP) in the current trade negotiations, citing a bipartisan letter from 18 members of the House of Representatives to President Obama calling for a high standard IP chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

“A commercially meaningful TPP with the highest level of IP protections will open new markets for American companies and serve as a template for future trade deals in the U.S.-Asia-Pacific region,” said Gina Vetere, executive director for intellectual property promotion at the GIPC. Pointing to the leadership of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA), Vetere said, “Representatives Smith and Berman and the other signatories should be commended for their strong support for advancing the protection of America’s IP-intensive industries globally.”

The Smith-Berman letter coincides with this week’s TPP negotiations in Santiago, Chile. The letter highlights recent testimony by Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Director David Kappos, which noted that the appropriate starting point for the TPP negotiations is the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). It also emphasizes that any efforts to conclude a TPP agreement by November 2011 should not come at the expense of securing a high standard IP agreement.

“Representatives Smith and Berman understand the vital role strong intellectual property rights play in fostering innovation and creativity, which in turn promote America’s economic growth and global competitiveness,” added Vetere. “Their advocacy on behalf of the 19 million American workers whose jobs depend on IP make them champions of America’s IP-intensive businesses and workers in today’s knowledge-driven economy.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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