Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk today welcomed public release of the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) following the conclusion of the final round of negotiations in Tokyo, Japan, on October 2.
“This text reflects tremendous progress in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy – a global crime wave that robs workers in the United States and around the world of good-paying jobs and exposes consumers to dangerous products,” he said. “The leadership shown by our ACTA partners in reaching solutions on tough issues should send a strong message to pirates and counterfeiters that they have no place in the channels of legitimate trade. We must now work quickly with our partners to finalize the results achieved in the Tokyo. This work represents a significant victory for those who care about protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.”
Kirk applauded the work of the U.S. negotiating team headed by Deputy USTR Miriam Sapiro, Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property & Innovation Stanford McCoy, and Chief Negotiator for Intellectual Property Enforcement Kira Alvarez, particularly for working with ACTA partners to lay the groundwork for the outcome achieved in Tokyo. Kirk also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Japan for hosting the round, and to the two senior officials who chaired the meeting: Yoichi Otabe, Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Crawford Falconer, New Zealand’s Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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After three years, and ten rounds of negotiations, the ACTA parties decided the time was right to conclude their discussions. The United States helped lay the foundation for the progress in Tokyo. It chaired an extra round of negotiations in Washington during August, supported the work of the Government of Japan to organize the final round at the Vice-Ministerial level, and worked hard to establish consensus on the outstanding issues.
Consistent with the Administration’s strategy for intellectual property enforcement, the ACTA negotiations aim to establish a state-of-the-art international framework that provides a model for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st century. The agreement will include innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong enforcement practices. These will ultimately help sustain American jobs in innovative and creative industries.
The participants agreed in Tokyo to work expeditiously to resolve the small number of outstanding issues that require further examination in their own countries with a view to finalizing the text of the agreement as promptly as possible. The draft Agreement will undergo final legal review and relevant domestic processes before signature.
The ACTA participants include: Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU) represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency (Belgium) and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.