Senators Encourage Strong IP Protections in New Trade Agreement with Asia-Pacific Nations

by Greg Frazier 05/19/2011 06:37 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

We were glad to see this letter Tuesday from a bipartisan group of 28 U.S. Senators urging President Obama to push for “the highest standards of protection for intellectual property (‘IP’) rights” in a new regional trade agreement (the Trans-Pacific  Partnership Agreement, or TPP) with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.  

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) led the charge for the letter, which highlights the millions of American jobs that rely on intellectual property and the serious threat posed by content theft. 

The Senators wrote that “while our copyright industries are one of our most vibrant export sectors, they are under attack from rampant and massive online piracy.  These industries are irreparably harmed when technological protection measures are circumvented or when pirated content is streamed over the internet.”

America’s economic future – our trading presence, creative jobs, and financial and creative investments – depend on strong IP protection abroad. As a model for future free trade agreements, setting a clear and enforceable IP precedent for the Asia-Pacific TPP is imperative. 

For the federal and state governments, content theft means lost capital for balancing budgets and providing services, a weakened trading presence and fewer American jobs, and we appreciate these Senators for voicing their deep commitment to protecting American IP and our creative workforce.

Read more in this story from The Hill’s On the Money blog.


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