What a busy week in Peru! Today concludes the latest round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Since 2011, TPP has aided the United States in our active pursuit of stronger trade relationships with countries in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. A 21st century trade agreement holds the potential for enhancing trade and investment among all partners, sparking economic growth and development, and supporting future innovation. Realizing these benefits requires pursuing the right kind of standards, particularly in the area of intellectual property.
This week, we’ll explore the key achievements that protecting intellectual property rights would have:
- Increased innovation - A recent blog from PhRMA concludes that IP rights are the key to driving innovation, particularly in medicine. All industries, including biopharmaceuticals, rely on the protection of IP rights to drive and cultivate a culture of innovation. Protecting IP rights leaves the profit in the hands of those who have invested the time and money into research, and allows them to continue doing so.
- Increased trade among all partners – Associate Professor of Economics from Colorado College, Dr. Kristina Lybecker, writes on how strong IP rights contribute to increased trade, which drives economic development. When these rights are protected, it eliminates a critical barrier to access and allows global industries to enhance and grow trade.
- A stronger economy that focuses on development – The IP Commission Report estimates IP theft in the U.S. costs over $300 billion per year—nearly the same number as annual U.S. exports to Asia. If IP received the same protections oversees that it does in the U.S. it would be likely that the American economy would add millions of jobs, increase research and development of new products and drive economic growth
These principles are all deeply interconnected and hinge on protecting intellectual property. Successful investment and trade are crucial to keeping the U.S. economy afloat. To maintain economic competitiveness, international standards must create a level playing field. Furthermore, intellectual property protections create the necessary incentives for investment in research and development, without which patients worldwide would not have access to innovative life saving treatments. As TPP negotiations progress, the U.S. must display a firm commitment to protect intellectual property rights, ensuring that the outcome stands in line with current U.S. law.