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Friday, November 12, 2010

SBE Council’s IP and the Economists #4: IP and International Trade Talks

Free trade negotiations have taken a back seat (to say the least) during the first two years of the Obama administration. The White House is far more interested in playing currency and trade balance manipulation games, as opposed to working to expand economic opportunity by reducing trade barriers.

Make no mistake, strong and uniform intellectual property rights and protections are critical to expanding opportunity and trade in the global marketplace.

In a February 2004 speech on intellectual property, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan noted: “Rationalizing the differences between intellectual property rights as defined and enforced in the United States and those of our trading partners has emerged as a seminal issue in our trade negotiations.”

And it should be. Unfortunately, under President Obama, serious trade negotiations have been nonexistent – as illustrated most recently by the White House’s failure regarding the South Korea trade agreement.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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