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Brady Statement on USTR Decision to Continue Anti-Counterfeiting Trade AgreementNegotiations to Protect U.S. IP Rights Abroad

June 12, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Brady, Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) announcement that the United States will continue the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations:

“I congratulate USTR for moving forward with the ACTA negotiations, which promise to help ensure that the intellectual property rights of goods made by American workers are protected around the world.  American industries and their workers that rely on intellectual property rights account for more than half of all U.S. exports and represent 40 percent of U.S. economic growth.”  Brady added, “I understand there are differing views on whether and, if so, how Internet issues should be addressed in the talks, and I hope that USTR will consider all views on these issues as it moves ahead with the ACTA talks.”

Brady added, “I also want to acknowledge USTR’s good efforts to keep stakeholders and the public informed about the ACTA talks and their importance to American jobs and U.S. economic and export growth, while ensuring that U.S. negotiating positions and proposals during these talks are not compromised in any way.”

Brady concluded by saying, “I hope that this USTR decision marks the beginning of a pro-active, export-focused trade agenda by this new Administration, in which we seek additional opportunities to open markets to U.S. goods and services through the pending FTAs with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, and new initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.”

Background:  USTR began the ACTA negotiations in June 2008.  Earlier this year, the new Administration postponed the talks in light of its larger, ongoing review of U.S. trade policy.  The ACTA talks are aimed at establishing common international standards for IPR enforcement to combat piracy and counterfeiting.  The United States is participating in the talks with several like-minded countries, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.