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Partners Sign Groundbreaking Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Agreement will protect American jobs in innovative and creative industries

Tokyo, Japan- The United States and seven other countries signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at a ceremony today in Tokyo, marking an important step forward in the international fight against trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

Between 10 and 20 million American jobs depend on intellectual property rights, according to studies and industry estimates. The ACTA aims to strengthen enforcement of those rights around the world, providing greater protection for U.S. exporters in innovative and creative industries.

“Protecting intellectual property is essential to American jobs in innovative and creative industries. The ACTA provides a platform for the Obama Administration to work cooperatively with other governments to advance the fight against counterfeiting and piracy,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk on the occasion of the signing. “Today marks a major milestone in the process of putting this Agreement into force.”

All eleven ACTA negotiating parties attended the ceremony. Representatives of Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States signed the Agreement. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro signed on behalf of the United States. Representatives of the European Union, Mexico, and Switzerland attended and confirmed their continuing support for the Agreement as they complete their domestic procedures to enable them to sign.

• A USTR fact sheet on the ACTA can be found here.

• The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative also released its views on key aspects of the Agreement. That document can be found here.

• All of the ACTA negotiating parties released a joint statement marking the signing. That statement can be found here.

ACTA opened for signature on May 1, 2011. The Government of Japan is Depositary of the Agreement, and parties who have not yet signed may submit their signatures to Japan. For those who have already signed, the next step in bringing the ACTA into force is the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval. The agreement will enter into force following the deposit of the sixth such instrument.