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Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Deputy United States Trade Representative Addressed the GEB

Photo caption: Ambassador Miriam Sapiro and President Loeb at the General Executive Board Meeting in Atlanta.

Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Deputy Trade Representative for the United States, addressed the General Executive Board at the Atlanta Mid-Winter meeting.  Ambassador Sapiro spoke on the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR) abroad, an issue that is at the forefront of both the United States’ trade agenda and the IA’s agenda.

Ambassador Sapiro stated that film and television exports account for a $12 billion trade surplus in movies, television and other audiovisual services.  Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside U.S. borders and they come to know and understand Americans through movies and television shows.

The Ambassador indicated that the Obama Administration is pursuing a trade agenda that creates jobs by opening foreign markets to U.S. products and services while vigorously protecting the intellectual property that is created.  Ambassador Sapiro stated that protecting IPR protects American jobs.  

Ambassador Sapiro stated that President Obama is committed to protecting IPR by making certain that IPR is a vital component of all of our trade agreements; that trade enforcement actions are pursued; that IPR is a priority with our top trading partners; and that multilateral efforts with the World Trade Organization (WTO) reflect the importance of IPR.  In fact, all three of the most recently signed trade agreements include IPR protections.  And, for the first time ever, a trade agreement with South Korea includes criminal penalties.

A ground-breaking Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been signed by 29 countries, including 22 of the European Union’s 27 member countries.  ACTA marks an important step forward in the international fight against trademark counterfeiting and copyright policy.

Ambassador Sapiro thanked President Loeb and IA members for their support and efforts in the fight to protect intellectual property rights in the global marketplace and stated that continued support is critical for success.