April 30, 2012

U.S. Chamber Releases Statement on USTR’s 2012 Special 301 Report

WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today praised the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for promoting effective intellectual property protection and enforcement around the globe with the release of its 2012 Special 301 Report.

“The Special 301 process is an important mechanism for policymakers to assess who is playing by the rules of the global trading system, and more specifically, whether countries are adhering to their intellectual property obligations under trade agreements,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president for the Chamber’s GIPC.  “Strong rules and effective enforcement regimes are an essential measure of the climate for companies small and large who wish to conduct business with foreign countries.”

A recent submission by GIPC to USTR provided an overall assessment of the major challenges to intellectual property protection in eight countries: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

“We are encouraged that USTR recognizes many of our same concerns in these eight countries,” said Elliot.  “The Special 301 Report is a valuable tool and we hope that USTR will work with these countries to design specific action plans that lead to the country’s removal from the list. We also encourage Congress to work with USTR and pass legislation requiring action plans for countries that include clear benchmarks to measure their performance and clear consequences for countries that fail to take action.”

Produced annually, the Special 301 Report is a critical mechanism for the U.S. government to ensure that trading partners provide adequate and effective protection of IP for America’s creators and innovators.  Over the past few years, the Report has also encouraged bad actors to change course and adopt significantly improved IP regimes.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights 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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