Singapore A Model For TPP Negotiators

Singapore A Model For TPP Negotiators

03.04.13 | By Jay Taylor

Singapore is hosting the 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which began today. As a global trade and financial center, as well as one of the world's leading exporters and importers, the city-state is home to some of the most talented global researchers largely due to incentivizing innovation and protecting intellectual property (IP). By embracing both, Singapore not only benefits economically from foreign investment, but also contributes to patient health throughout Asia. One example - the Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease, located in Singapore, fuels the research that gives patients new hope for medical breakthroughs.

TPP negotiators and governments across the globe should look at Singapore as an example of what can happen when investments in IP are protected and nurtured.

Here at home, IP-intensive industries directly employ more than 19 million Americans (when indirect jobs are included, the number increases to 55 million). More importantly, strong IP helps develop innovative treatments for diseases ranging from Alzheimer's to cancer to diabetes. A weak IP framework within TPP would create uncertainty when we need to be doing more to support researchers and innovators who rely on strong protections to fuel the next generation of life-saving and life-enhancing therapies.

As I arrive in Singapore this week, I hope that TPP negotiators recognize the promise and potential of the innovation around them. Medical researchers are on the cusp of major breakthroughs that could revolutionize how patients are treated. The same applies to other highly innovative sectors that are changing the world one idea at a time. A weak IP framework puts these advancements at risk. Regardless of country or sector, it's clear we need to be doing all we can to help champion them.

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