Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-6-2011

Abstract

This briefing paper provides preliminary analysis of two leaked U.S. proposals for an intellectual property chapter in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The U.S. proposal, if adopted, would create the highest intellectual property protection and enforcement standards in any free trade agreement to date. Its provisions are primarily based on, and frequently go beyond, the maximalist and controversial standards of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and US law, while negating the development-oriented flexibilities required by the 2007 New Trade Deal for developing countries and included in the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement. If adopted, the provisions would predictably lead to higher prices and decreased access to a broad range of consumer products in many TPP member countries, from medicines to textbooks to information on the internet, with little or no benefit from increased innovation, creativity or local economic activity. No country, including the US, has an interest in ceding this much policy flexibility to an international agreement. The proposal is particularly inappropriate for developing countries where the risks and effects of exclusionary pricing by monopolists are most acute.