AFTE Statement on USTR 2022 Special 301 Report
WASHINGTON (April 29) – The Office of the United States Trade Representative recently released its 2022 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection which highlights “the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights.” The Alliance for Trade Enforcement issued the following statement on the just-released report:
“It’s encouraging to see the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recognize how ‘robust protection and enforcement’ of IP standards supports America’s IP-intensive industries, which in turn support more than 60 million jobs.
“And it was heartening that USTR highlighted several IP violations in its final report that AFTE raised in earlier comments, including the lack of transparency and predictability for biopharmaceutical pricing in Korea and Japan, narrow patentability criteria in India and Indonesia, restrictive access policies for biotech companies in Brazil and Canada, and the government’s failure to adequately adopt the USMCA’s IP provisions in Mexico.
“However, USTR’s continued support for the proposal to waive Covid-19 vaccine IP protections at the WTO undermines its efforts to curb IP violations in the 27 nations that USTR put on the Priority Watch or Watch Lists this year. And it’s unfortunately consistent with the administration’s failure to advance meaningful trade enforcement measures in a majority of these 27 nations to date.
“As AFTE has stated previously, waiving any part of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is misguided and dangerous and will do nothing to combat Covid-19. Instead, it will set a disastrous precedent that IP rights can be eliminated at any time — and thus investors’ incentives to pour capital into research and development.
“As a staunch defender of U.S. intellectual property and advocate for its proper treatment abroad, AFTE urges USTR to champion critical global IP rules and protections through immediate, concrete actions, focused on addressing the issues raised in this report and not on divisive, ineffective proposals to waive those very protections. USTR should work with, rather than against, the innovative industries that support millions of American jobs and the discovery of groundbreaking technologies — and whose expertise is driving us toward the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
About the Alliance for Trade Enforcement: The Alliance for Trade Enforcement is a coalition of trade associations and business groups that advocates for foreign governments to end unfair trade practices that harm U.S. innovative industries and supports U.S. policymakers in their efforts to hold our trading partners accountable.