April 6, 2010

U.S. Chamber Joins Nationwide Call for Speedy Completion of Robust ACTA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today joined a broad coalition of more than 100 small and medium-sized businesses and associations to urge the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to quickly conclude a robust Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk, signatories cited the importance of intellectual property to America’s economic recovery and job creation, and urged the Obama administration to successfully conclude an ambitious and comprehensive ACTA this year.

“The theft of intellectual property affects American jobs and companies of all sizes,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the GIPC. “During this period of economic uncertainty, ensuring the competitiveness of American businesses by protecting their intellectual property should remain a top priority of the Obama administration. An ambitious and comprehensive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement can help accomplish this, spurring greater job creation in the process. That is why we strongly encourage the administration to conclude the agreement this year.”

The letter highlights the role innovation and creativity play in America’s economy and global competitiveness. IP-intensive industries are responsible for more than $5 trillion of U.S. GDP, accounting for more than 40% of all exports, and employing 18 million workers. The letter was endorsed by 108 businesses and associations representing a wide range of IP-dependent industries from more than 30 states across the country, such as 1-800-PetMeds, ABRO Industries, Inc., True Religion Brand Jeans, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

“Intellectual property rights are especially important to owners of small and medium-sized companies who rely on the protection of their ideas, hard work, and investment in order to safeguard their businesses, protect their employees’ jobs, and position themselves for future growth,” added Esper. “A strong ACTA will raise the bar on IP enforcement efforts and cooperation among nearly 40 like-minded trading partners. Such an agreement is a major step toward protecting businesses, innovators, workers, and consumers while providing incentives for further innovation that increases exports, creates jobs, and improves our lives.”

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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