WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2018 — ACTION for Trade — a coalition of trade associations, technology companies, and creative organizations — just urged the U.S. government to address intellectual property abuse among our nation’s trading partners in a formal submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
“Intellectual property abuse affects a diverse array of U.S. industries, from music, movie and television production to biopharmaceutical and technology product development,” said Brian Pomper, executive director of ACTION for Trade. “Industries that rely on IP account for more than 38 percent of U.S. GDP. So it’s crucial that the U.S. government insist upon strong IP protections and enforcement abroad.”
The submission responds to the USTR’s annual “Special 301” report. ACTION for Trade highlighted three areas of concern: the lack of regulatory transparency and due process in our trading partners; the lack of enforcement efforts by other nations; and the acts, practices, and policies of our trading partners that undermine the work of U.S. companies.
The ACTION for Trade submission points to instances of abuse by Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Mexico. Canada, for instance, imposes arbitrary price controls on medicines and does not require online services to remove creative works that infringe on the producer’s copyright. Mexico has the highest percentage of music pirate site users of any country. Korea does not fairly value innovative medicines, even though it agreed to do so in a free trade agreement with the United States.
U.S. voters value strong IP protections. More than four in five say the United States should enforce and strengthen trade agreements to ensure that our trading partners appropriately value American innovations, according to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult.
“Too many countries fail to properly value the innovation and creativity that drives the American economy,” Pomper said. “We look forward to continuing to work with USTR to address these concerns — and to ensure that the United States remains the global leader in innovation and creativity.”
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