Protect IP in Trade Agreements

Protect IP in Trade Agreements

11.14.11 | By

The 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) took place over the last couple of days in Hawaii. There was a lot of discussion about how to improve trade and economic opportunities among Pacific-rim countries. For technology-based businesses - like America's biopharmaceutical research companies - securing strong protections for their intellectual property (IP) rights is a key factor in their ability to successfully engage in business and trade throughout the region. I want to call your attention to a good opinion piece in the Honolulu Star Advertiser written by John C. Lechleiter, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company. Underscoring the importance of the jobs created by high-tech industries dependent on strong IP protections, Dr. Lechleiter writes:
"Industries that center on intellectual property employ more than 19 million Americans and account for some 60 percent of total U.S. exports...High standards of intellectual property protection are critical to increasing U.S. companies' ability to export."
With this in mind, future trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), should be modeled on the recently ratified Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and U.S. law. Our agreement with Korea protects the ideas and inventions developed by our brightest minds - to ensure that those ideas translate into increased employment and economic growth within our own borders.

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