FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2015 – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) hosted a media teleconference today to discuss the release of a new report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global trade deal currently being negotiated between the U.S. and 11 other nations that border the Pacific Ocean. Entitled "The Imperative of Protecting Life Sciences Innovation in the TPP,” it details with the importance of intellectual property to global innovation in general and the life sciences sector in particular as well as the need to include strong IP protections in any completed agreement. Panelists included Robert Atkinson and Stephen Ezell of ITIF, Ambassador Alan Wolff, Linda Dempsey of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and Andrew Spiegel of the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA.)
“The meeting of the TPP chief negotiators in Hawaii could potentially be one the final rounds of negotiations to be held before the deal is finalized,” says Atkinson, President and Founder of ITIF. “While immense strides have been made to bring the TPP to this point, the IP chapter has yet to be concluded and presents a significant challenge that must be overcome. In order to consider the TPP a 21st Century success, the final deal must include IP standards that reflect those of the United States.”
“The protection of intellectual property is a necessary ingredient for promoting innovation” adds Ambassador Wolff, former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. “This will, in turn, spur economic growth in all TPP member nations accompanied by the creation of a large number of high quality jobs.”
Elaborating on the effect that a weak IP chapter could have on the manufacturing industry, not only domestically but also globally, Dempsey, NAM’s Vice President of International Economic Affairs, says “Manufacturers in the United States are at the forefront of innovation that not only provides the most exciting new gadgets, the best life-saving medicines and products that are known for durability and quality, they also employ over 12 million workers and support 17 million men and women in the U.S. workforce. A high-standard TPP that secures strong intellectual property standards will help sustain and grow those jobs in the United States and help ensure that the United States continues to lead the world in innovation and new technologies.”
“I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact that a new drug can have and the hope that it can provide to a patient,” explains Spiegel, Executive Director of the GCCA. “When a deal that has the magnitude of the TPP is being considered, it is imperative that protecting innovation remain a top priority in order to benefit global patient health. With strong IP rights, including 12 years of data protection for biologic drugs, the TPP will give life science innovators the power to continue developing groundbreaking treatments and cures for the world’s patients.”
The latest round of TPP negotiations began today and will conclude on March 15th. Read the report.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.