The U.S. Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) on April 6 joined a broad coalition of more than 100 small and medium-sized businesses and associations to urge the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to quickly conclude a robust Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
"The theft of intellectual property affects American jobs and companies of all sizes," said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the GIPC in a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk. "During this period of economic uncertainty, ensuring the competitiveness of American businesses by protecting their intellectual property should remain a top priority of the Obama administration. An ambitious and comprehensive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement can help accomplish this, spurring greater job creation in the process. That is why we strongly encourage the administration to conclude the agreement this year."
The letter was endorsed by 108 businesses and associations representing a wide range of IP-dependent industries from more than 30 states across the country, such as 1-800-PetMeds, ABRO Industries, Inc., True Religion Brand Jeans, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
IP-intensive industries are responsible for more than $5 trillion of U.S. GDP, accounting for more than 40% of all exports, and employing 18 million workers says the Chamber.
"Intellectual property rights are especially important to owners of small and medium-sized companies who rely on the protection of their ideas, hard work, and investment in order to safeguard their businesses, protect their employees' jobs, and position themselves for future growth," added Esper. "A strong ACTA will raise the bar on IP enforcement efforts and cooperation among nearly 40 like-minded trading partners. Such an agreement is a major step toward protect businesses, innovators, workers, and consumers while providing incentives for further innovation that increases exports, creates jobs, and improves our lives."