This morning, Ambassador Kirk spoke at the Global Intellectual Property Center Annual Summit. Innovation and creativity are pillars of global economic development. Key to any nation's economic success is the ability to trade intellectual property - including the goods and services that flow from new ideas - in a rules-based system around the world.
As United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Kirk works on behalf of American workers and businesses to protect intellectual property. Read excerpts of his speech below, and the full speech here.
"Every economy stands to benefit when partners play by trade rules. And the rules on intellectual property are clear: pirates and copycats are not to be tolerated. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But we're not talking about flattery. We're talking about theft. And that theft doesn't just hurt American creators and inventors. It can also harm the unwitting consumers of potentially harmful counterfeit goods.
Others should be as interested in protecting their creators, innovators, and consumers as Americans are in protecting ours. So, we are working together with key partners to forge an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement by 2010.
That agreement and other intellectual property safeguards will ensure lawful access for more consumers in more countries to original, high-quality American products, rather than counterfeit or pirated black-market goods.
In addition to protecting intellectual property rights, putting legitimate products in the hands of global consumers can return dollars to their rightful earners - US companies and their workers. This is one way that trade, and trade enforcement, can be a pillar of economic recovery."