What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Means for Intellectual Property

What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Means for Intellectual Property

02.20.13 | By

Beginning March 4, Singapore will host the 16th round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and tomorrow, Jay Taylor, PhRMA Vice President of International Affairs, will join Ambassador John Veroneau, Former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Dan Duncan, The McGraw-Hill Companies Senior Director of Government Affairs; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center to discuss the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection in the TPP.

American competitiveness in the 21st Century depends on our ability to innovate and create new products and technologies. But innovation, and the R&D cycle, is a long and involved process. For biopharmaceutical companies, it can take upwards of a decade and a billion dollars to take a drug from discovery to approval - and that excludes products that don't make it through the rightfully arduous FDA review process.

It's an enormous investment in time, money and people, which is why the protection of intellectual property must be a paramount goal for U.S. negotiators in the TPP. Otherwise, American companies will have much less incentive to make the heavy investments needed to develop new treatments that extend and save lives.

Canada's involvement this round also makes IP extremely important. A report published by the Global Intellectual Property Center shows Canada is an outlier on a number of IP issues including patents, copyrights and trademarks. Without strong IP protections, Canada could be putting U.S. jobs at risk as innovators see less incentive to invest when they cannot recoup those costs. Most of these issues, however, are easily fixed through bilateral talks or within the context of the TPP. We encourage our government officials to take advantage of this opportunity and pursue policies that protect American innovation and spur the continued investments in R&D that will lead to new life-saving medicines and more high-paying jobs for our U.S. workers.

If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, we encourage you to join us at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from noon to 2 pm to hear more about what the TPP means for industries like the biopharmaceuticals.

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