President Obama’s Trade Agenda and National IP Strategy

Mar 11, 2010

The President's comments today highlighting the importance of intellectual property to our nation's economy come at a pivotal time, and should be lauded. Our economic recovery, and the jobs that will come with it, depend on the innovation and creativity of the American people.  And so protecting IP rights by enforcing copyright, patent and trademark laws in the U.S. and abroad is critical to our nation's success.

We commend President Obama for recognizing this, as well as singling out the need for a strong Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement that will raise the bar on enforcement standards and improve cooperation between nearly forty countries.  Agreements such as this, coupled with increased resources and enhanced authorities for law enforcement here in the U.S., will help us address the tidal wave of counterfeiting and piracy—especially on the Internet—that is killing jobs and endangering consumers.

As the President stated in his address today before the Export-Import Bank, we cannot achieve job growth without aggressively protecting our intellectual property. American IP is worth $5 trillion—more than the GDP of any other country— and is responsible for the employment of over 18 million Americans. IP-intensive industries from the life sciences and computer industries, to the entertainment and apparel sectors, drive nearly half of the entire economy, contributing to nearly sixty percent of total U.S. exports.  These numbers will only grow in the years to come.

The President's statement lays a clear and firm predicate for the first-ever National IP Strategy— a government wide plan to improve our IP protection and enforcement efforts in the U.S. and abroad —that the White House is working on and expected to present this summer.  The Chamber and its members look forward to working with the Administration on this strategy and other IP issues, and are encouraged by the President's bold, aggressive defense of innovation and creativity—and the need to safeguard the IP that results from such efforts—as a solution to America's economic challenges and future aspirations.

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