Last week, the Wilson Center hosted a set of panels addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the future of international trade. The Trans-Pacific Partnership seeks to expand trade and liberalize economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei are engaging in the trade negotiations, with Canada and Mexico set to join in coming months, while Japan waits in the wings and China monitors developments closely. With the right negotiation outcomes, the TPP agreement has the potential to strengthen U.S. trade within the Asia-Pacific region and promote U.S. global competitiveness.
As negotiations continue, panelists discussed key U.S. interests, namely strong protection for intellectual property rights (IPR). With the TPP agreement poised to set a precedent for future trade agreements, as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis stated, the USTR must continue to push for high standards in data protection and intellectual property rights (IPR) that coincide with current U.S. law. High IPR standards play an important role in international trade by ensuring that the U.S. can compete on a level playing field in global markets. Lower pharmaceutical IPR standards in other markets allow foreign competitors to free ride on U.S. innovation. That means fewer foreign sales to support American jobs. Our country cannot afford such an outcome.
As we look to the future, creating a robust trade agenda can help ensure U.S. economic leadership in the global market. Pursuing the gold-standard for pharmaceutical intellectual property stands as a vital part of that equation and can help open the U.S. to new markets, expand export and economic opportunities, while supporting and increasing the number of high-paying American jobs
.. While Marantis said negotiators had made significant progress in the talks, they are just beginning to confront the most difficult issues and still have a lot of work to do. The next round of talks are set for early September. We send support to our negotiators, and look forward to meaningful progress.