March 26,2013

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Announces Bill to Guarantee Strong IP Standards for U.S. in Global Trading System

Bill Would Elevate Stature Of Intellectual Property Rights Through Creation Of Chief Innovation & Intellectual Property Negotiator

WASHINGTON–To promote competitiveness and protect U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today announced, the Innovation Through Trade Act, legislation to create a Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to help guarantee strong IP standards are upheld and enforced with global trading partners.

“Intellectual property and innovation are the cornerstones of American competitiveness and job creation. Yet in recent years, they are all too often relegated to second tier status in our trade policy,” said Hatch. “With our economic competitors getting more sophisticated by the day, finding more ways to steal, expropriate or otherwise undermine the value of U.S. innovation, negotiating strong intellectual property agreements and enforcing them is a necessity, not an option. The establishment of a Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator will give intellectual property and innovation the stature they deserve. The Office will help guarantee that America remains at the forefront of innovation policy, that our trade agreements reflect the critical importance of intellectual property to our economy and that the preservation of high-standard IP protection and enforcement are at the forefront of every trade debate.”

Under the Innovation Through Trade Act, S. 660, the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator would have that rank of Ambassador and have to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.  

Specifically, the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator would:

  • Reflect the importance of intellectual property to the U.S. economy, vigorously representing the interests of U.S. workers, manufacturers, service providers, innovators and content creators;
  • Conduct trade negotiations and enforce trade agreements relating to United States intellectual property and take appropriate actions to address acts, policies, and practices of foreign governments that have a significant adverse impact on the value of United States innovation; and
  • Provide input into a new statutory report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee on actions undertaken by the United States Trade Representative to advance U.S. innovation and intellectual property rights interest and enforcement actions taken to protect those interests.