Baucus Stresses Trade Enforcement, Industry And International Cooperation In Protection Of U.S. Intellectual Property
Witnesses speak to IP and American competitiveness
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today convened
a hearing to examine the issue of international intellectual property (IP) protection and
enforcement, which falls under Finance Committee jurisdiction. Baucus called on industry
leaders to discuss the widespread proliferation of piracy and counterfeiting operations overseas
and how enforcement might be improved to address it.
J. Walter Cahill, International Vice President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage
Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, described the staggering cost
that piracy inflicts on the thousands of working men and women in the entertainment industry.
Baucus asked Andrew Lack, Chairman of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Jeffrey Kindler,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer Inc., about what Congress could do to help
increase international intellectual property enforcement. John Barton, professor emeritus at
Stanford Law School, spoke to the negative consequences that strong IP enforcement may have
on the world’s poorest countries.
“Protecting our intellectual property abroad means protecting American innovation and
ultimately America’s economic prosperity. We must work together across industries and
across borders to identify the biggest threats to our innovation. We must work together to
find solutions to protect our innovation,” Baucus said. “We also have a responsibility to
understand how our laws affect access for the world’s poorest to the lifesaving medicines
and other essential technologies they need to treat their sick, feed their poor, and clean their
Senator Baucus was also interested in the panelists’ views on “Special 301,” a section of the
Trade Act of 1974 that requires the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to annually
identify foreign countries that deny adequate IP protection. Panelists agreed that more should be done to resolve the underlying IP violations in the countries on the USTR watch list.
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