ACTION for Trade Encourages U.S. Trade Representative to Safeguard IP in NAFTA Deal

WASHINGTON (March 30) — Yesterday, ACTION for Trade sent a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging him to include provisions that protect U.S. innovators’ and creators’ intellectual property in the NAFTA deal he’s currently negotiating. This week, Lighthizer expressed optimism that an agreement in principle with Canada and Mexico could be reached soon.


“As the United States, Mexico, and Canada push to conclude NAFTA negotiations, it’s imperative that they strengthen the agreement’s protections for intellectual property,” said Brian Pomper, executive director of ACTION for Trade. “IP fuels our nation’s economy; safeguarding it must be a top priority for the U.S. Trade Representative and his team.”


In its letter, ACTION argues that IP-intensive companies can only contribute to the U.S. economy if they’re accorded “strong protection of their IP around the world, new market access opportunities, and fair international trading rules.” The letter also highlights how market-based systems, copyright protection and enforcement, and fair patent regulation can spur innovation.


Innovative and creative industries were responsible for $1.2 trillion in economic activity in the United States in 2015. Americans recognize how important these industries are. Nearly three in four voters believe it’s important to strengthen copyright and intellectual property protections in NAFTA.


“ACTION for Trade applauds Ambassador Lighthizer for the work he’s done to protect U.S. intellectual property” said Pomper. “We’re hopeful that the Ambassador and his counterparts in Mexico and Canada will reach a final deal on NAFTA that enhances the IP landscape for all U.S. creators and innovators.”


About ACTION for Trade: The American Creative, Technology, and Innovative Organizations Network is a coalition of trade associations and businesses dedicated to shaping U.S. trade policy. ACTION for Trade aims to make sure U.S. trade policy and trade agreements foster innovation and creativity and protect the intellectual property that drives U.S. trade competitiveness. ACTION for Trade also seeks to help shape global trade standards to advance American creativity and innovation, to grow IPR-enabled U.S. services trade surplus, and to open new markets for American creators and innovators.


Emily Troisi
Keybridge Communications
(202) 471-4228, ext. 120