Maximizing Innovation Should be Central Goal of T-TIP Agreement

October 11, 2013

WASHINGTON (October 10, 2013) - The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has released a report arguing that the United States and Europe should leverage the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) Agreement to create a model framework for global trade. How to Craft an Innovation Maximizing T-TIP Agreement proposes a series of recommendations for the agreement not just to maximize innovation in both regions, but to strengthen the entire international innovation ecosystem.

"Traditionalists argue that trade agreements should focus solely on reducing barriers to trade and increasing the flow of goods, mainly by decreasing tariffs," notes Michelle Wein, Research Analyst with ITIF and co-author of the report. "However, in a globally integrated economy where an increasing share of trade occurs in innovation-based industries, the rationale for trade must now be about maximizing innovation, rather than solely increasing market access."

The report provides a framework for maximizing the impact of global trade on innovation, including: expanding market size, limiting excess competition, and protecting intellectual property. The report presents a series of recommendations for achieving these goals through the T-TIP negotiations including: abolishing tariffs on goods and services in innovation industries; preventing unfair subsidies to the aerospace industry; developing a common framework for trade secrets; reducing differing regulatory standards on pharmaceuticals and eliminating content requirements on audiovisual services.

"We have an opportunity to put maximizing innovation at the center of this agreement, as well as set a framework other nations can follow," adds co-author Stephen Ezell, Senior Policy Analyst at ITIF. 

Negotiations toward establishing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership began in July 2013 between the United States and the European Union. It promises to be the largest bilateral free trade agreement in history, covering 50% of global gross domestic product.

Read the reportRead the policy recommendations.


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

Contact: Samantha Greene
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