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September 26, 2014


IPI expert referenced: Tom Giovanetti | In The News | Media Hit
  Washington Internet Daily

Those who oppose intellectual property rules in free trade agreements (FTAs) mostly base their rejection on a fundamental opposition to IP rights protections, rather than to the particulars of trade deals, wrote Tom Giovanetti, president of the Institute for Policy Innovation, on the group's website this month.

Exports from within the IP industries, including copyright, make up the largest slice of U.S. shipments abroad, and IP rules in FTAs are critical in keeping U.S. dominance in those sectors, Giovanetti said. "Listening to the rhetoric of IP skeptics in the blogosphere and social media, one would think that the IP industries are an insignificant part of our economy, and that the only reason IP is included in trade agreements is due to the IP industries' lobbying efforts and their influence with the federal government and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative."

Cato Institute trade analyst Simon Lester challenged Giovanetti to specify the details of his preferences for IP rights in FTAs.

"If you treat intellectual property as a single concept, and you can either have more or less protection of it, it would be reasonable to conclude that some countries have too little protection and probably need more. But intellectual property covers a lot of ground," Lester said in a Friday post on Cato's site. "Otherwise I'm just going to assume you want stronger IP protection of any and all kinds and would go along with the European Union demand that Feta cheese can only be made in Greece."


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