TPP and Intellectual Property

Protecting the Key to a Successful TPP

12.20.13 | By Jay Taylor

What provides two-thirds of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement’s total economic benefits? The answer is intellectual property-intensive manufacturing industries.

As we close the books on 2013, the TPP agreement continues to be a priority. Throughout the course of negotiations, we’ve emphasized the importance achieving a gold-standard agreement that promotes economic development and expansion for each TPP partner. Even as substantive discussions come close to concluding, it continues to be – and may be even more – critical to emphasize just how important it is that any agreement adequately protects intellectual property.

Strong IP protections benefit the U.S. economy and those of each TPP country, and a new study released today supports this point. According to NDP Analytics, a TPP agreement that includes IP protections at least as strong as current U.S. law would have a tremendously positive effect on participants. It would mean as many as 48,000 new jobs and a $26 billion boost in manufacturing exports in the U.S., in addition to providing a boost in the collective GDP of the nations receiving U.S. exports and creating more than 68,000 jobs in those countries. 

For the biopharmaceutical industry, abiding by U.S. law means protection for biologic medicines. Including anything less in the TPP would only hurt patients. When Congress agreed to 12 years of data exclusivity for biologics, it struck the right balance that allows companies to continue to innovate and develop the next life-saving medicine, while also providing patients with the treatments they need to live longer, healthier lives. For the TPP to be able to deliver the potential economic benefits outlined in NDP Analytics’ study, this type of protection must be upheld.

As negotiators pause briefly for the holidays, we encourage continued consideration of the value of strong intellectual property protections and enforcement not only to the availability of the most innovative treatments for the world’s patients, but also to fulfilling the TPP agreement’s chief mission of promoting the participants’ economic prosperity. 

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