The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations remain on track, according to a recent statement from the leaders of the 12 TPP countries--including the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia. In fact, just yesterday, U.S. Congressmen Boustany, Reichert, Kind, and Meeks, demonstrated bipartisan vision and leadership by establishing and co-chairing the Friends of Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus. While the leaders renew their commitment to completing a deal, I want to discuss the components of a successful 21st century trade agreement.
Leaders have stressed their commitment to an agreement that meets high standards for trade liberalization, while spurring global innovation and economic growth. In order to fulfill this promise, the TPP must bring international IP laws in line with the U.S. and other countries that value these protections. A successful TPP agreement would match international standards to U.S. law by standardizing the patent linkage system and providing 12 years of data exclusivity for biologics.
Developing game-changing innovations in medicine takes large investments in research and development. The TPP should include those mechanisms that allow companies to achieve breakthrough innovations in health care and other sectors vital to maintaining a high quality-of-life.
On the flip side, an agreement without these provisions would effectively punish companies by providing them little protection for their investments. IP theft already costs the U.S. economy nearly $300 billion a year, a figure that could grow exponentially without strong international IP laws. Including strong IP laws in the TPP would inspire even more confidence in its ability to achieve strong international economic growth.
The leaders of the 12 countries involved in the deal have expressed their eagerness to get it done. With another round of negotiations slated for December 7-9 in Bali, we join TPP negotiators in hoping that the countries can reach a high-quality agreement very soon.