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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

ACTA Signing Participants in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011
ACTA Signing Participants in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011

On October 1, 2011, eight ACTA negotiating partners signed what will become the highest-standard plurilateral agreement ever achieved concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Ambassador Sapiro Signs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011
Ambassador Sapiro Signs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo, Japan on October 1, 2011 as Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast look on.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a groundbreaking initiative by key trading partners to strengthen the international legal framework for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy. In addition to calling for strong legal frameworks, the agreement also includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement practices. Together, these provisions will help to support American jobs in innovative and creative industries against intellectual property theft.

Process

The United States, Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Morocco, and Singapore signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at a ceremony on October 1, 2011, in Tokyo, marking an important step forward in the international fight against trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. Representatives of the remaining ACTA negotiating parties, the European Union, Mexico, and Switzerland, attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing strong support for and preparations to sign the Agreement as soon as practicable. The next step in bringing the ACTA into force is the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval from each of the signatories. The agreement will enter into force following the deposit of the sixth such instrument.

Participants

Participants in the negotiations included: Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America.

The Government of Japan issued a joint press release in connection with the October 2011 ACTA signing ceremony, which may be found here.

Final Text and Public Comments

The Final Text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (May 2011) may be found here.

Public comments concerning the final text may be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0014.

Public comments received in connection with USTR’s 2008 Federal Register Notice and public meeting may be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2008-0030.


USTR responded to an inquiry from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) requesting information about the ACTA negotiations on March 2, 2010. Read USTR's letter answering Senator Ron Wyden's questions here. Read Senator Wyden's original letter here.

Remarks by Ambassador Ron Kirk on Asia-Pacific Trade and Jobs

Remarks by Ambassador Ron Kirk

TPP Round 8: Asia-Pacific Trade and Jobs
Chicago, IL
September 9, 2011

**As Prepared for Delivery**

“Thank you, Mayor Emanuel. And thank you for hosting the delegations of the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership members this week.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to meet in your fair city and state, to make progress toward a trade agreement that will enhance trade across the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific region and support job growth.

“I also want to thank Cal Cohen and the TPP Coalition this evening.

“We are fortunate to have many distinguished participants, including my fellow ambassadors from TPP member countries, TPP delegates, and stakeholders from America and other Asia-Pacific countries.

“It is fitting that we should meet here in Chicago. This city has thrived on international trade for more than one hundred years.

“Chicago is home to a wide range of industries from aerospace and automobile manufacturing to health care and high-tech.

“And in 2009, the greater Chicago area exported $28.2 billion dollars’ worth of goods, which makes it the 7th largest exporting metropolitan area in the United States.

“Last year, the state of Illinois exported $50.1 billion of goods alone – not even counting your services sales. And Illinois exports support a lot of jobs – more than 380,000 at last count.

“Businesses, workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and service providers here all stand to gain significantly from the export opportunities that an ambitious, 21st century regional Trans-Pacific Partnership will offer.

“As you may know, last night, President Obama presented to Congress a series of practical proposals to jumpstart U.S. job creation. These proposals have traditionally had bipartisan support.

“The President challenged Congress to put country before party and pass these measures without delay so we can send more Americans back to work as soon as possible.

“The President has consistently supported a balanced trade agenda to create jobs and help American workers support their families.

“He has been clear that he intends to advance the job-creating free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, and renew Trade Adjustment Assistance.

“And as we do that work, the President has directed us to advance boldly in other areas, including the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m here to emphasize the importance of continued cooperation among TPP member countries and stakeholders. We must keep working diligently toward an ambitious 21st century regional trade agreement.

“As we begin the eighth round of negotiations, it’s clear that TPP member countries share a commitment to sustain the steady progress and positive momentum we have built thus far.

“At the same time, as we consider serious proposals in several critical areas, we know that continued engagement among TPP members and stakeholders will be critical to achieving the ambitious goals we share.

“So in addition to the negotiators, I’d like to thank the many stakeholders who continue to make valuable contributions to these talks.

“The stakes for our success are high. We must secure the jobs that trade supports. We must also strengthen regional relationships that could pave the way toward an eventual Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

“History has shown that close ties among trading partners can foster favorable conditions for peace and prosperity.

“These benefits will be paramount in many of our minds this Sunday, when people across the United States and around the world will remember those devastated by the terrorism of September 11, 2001.

“We can never fill the void created on that horrible day. But we may honor the victims with our mutual and affirmative support for peace, security, prosperity, and universal rights around the globe.

“There is much to do to ensure a stable and prosperous future for our planet.

“Millions of businesses, workers, and families in every TPP partner country are counting on us to cooperate so that we can realize the full potential of a robust, thoughtful, market-opening agreement.

“I offer my wishes for a productive week to all negotiators.

“Our goal is still to achieve the broad outlines of this groundbreaking agreement by November, so that we can ultimately conclude the strongest agreement possible in a timely fashion.

“This week, I encourage everyone to aim high and think big. Together, we can deliver the job-building opportunities of 21st century trade to businesses, workers, and families across the Asia-Pacific. Thank you.”

Joint Communiqué of the Meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance of the United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement

The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the fourth meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sub-Committee) on July 14, 2011 in Lima, Peru. The meeting focused on progress implementing provisions of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Annex).

The meeting was chaired by Amy Karpel, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Alvaro Diaz, from Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

U.S. Government participants in the meeting included officials from the Department of State, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Embassy in Lima Peru. Peruvian Government participants included officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, among others.

The Sub-Committee discussed progress implementing the Annex. Peru and the United States discussed passage of Peru’s new Forestry and Wildlife Law as well as regulations Peru is developing to implement the new law. The Parties also discussed other efforts Peru is undertaking to ensure implementation of the Annex, including mechanisms to conduct forest inventories in permanent production forests and procedures to audit timber producers. The United States and Peru stressed the importance of continuing to make progress on these areas, and reaffirmed the commitment to do so including by working expeditiously to adopt implementing regulations. The Parties reaffirmed the importance of undertaking a participatory process with the public to develop those regulations and other measures to further implementation of the Annex.

The Parties also reviewed activities being undertaken in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Forest Service under the Peru Forest Sector Initiative. These activities related to the design, development and implementation of forest inventory and information systems, yield calculations, sustainable community forest management, and law enforcement.

The Governments also held a public session for all interested stakeholders. This session provided an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with government officials about implementation of the Annex.