Washington, DC – Following a meeting with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab today announced the creation of a new Intellectual Property office, headed by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Victoria A. Espinel, and several additions to the USTR team. Intellectual property issues were previously covered at USTR in the Office of Services, Investment and Intellectual Property.
"Americans are among the world’s greatest innovators, in no small part because of the strength of our respect for intellectual property rights in the United States," said Ambassador Schwab. "In the global economy, maintaining protections for American innovations abroad is critical to advancing U.S. competitiveness. Protection of Intellectual Property by other nations is also critical to their own economic development, including promotion of indigenous innovations, creativity and access to innovations by consumers and promoters of innovation."
"The creation of a new office at USTR enhances our focus on protecting intellectual property," continued Schwab. "Since joining USTR in 2001, Ms. Espinel has been a driving force in advancing intellectual property protections through the World Trade Organization, our free trade agreements, and numerous other diplomatic channels. She brings a wealth of experience to the position, and will continue to put her skills to great use in this new role."
USTR is increasing both financial resources and staff for the new office, including a Chief Negotiator for Intellectual Property Enforcement. Stanford McCoy will serve as the Chief Negotiator for Intellectual Property Enforcement and will lead the office’s intellectual property enforcement efforts, with a special focus on priority countries, including China and Russia.
Victoria A. Espinel – Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property
As Assistant USTR, Ms. Espinel is the USTR’s chief advisor on matters related to intellectual property and trade, and is responsible for developing and implementing United States trade policy on intellectual property.
Ms. Espinel is the principal U.S. trade negotiator on intellectual property. Her responsibilities including intellectual property negotiations at the World Trade Organization and in the U.S. free trade agreements. In addition, her office directs bilateral discussions with numerous trading partners on a wide variety of intellectual property issues.
Ms Espinel also oversees enforcement of trade commitments on intellectual property. The Office of Intellectual Property at USTR authors the annual "Special 301" review of international protection of intellectual property rights, and chairs the interagency committee that contributes to this report. The office will continue to increase its focus on implementation and enforcement of intellectual property obligations under both the WTO agreements and the US free trade agreements as well as use other tools at its disposal, including reviews under trade preference systems and the Special 301 process.
Ms. Espinel joined USTR in 2001 as Associate General Counsel and served as the agency’s lead lawyer focused on intellectual property issues. She was promoted in March 2004 to Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property.
Before joining USTR, Ms. Espinel was with the law firms of Covington & Burling in London and Washington, D.C. and Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in New York.
Ms. Espinel is the author of several published articles on international copyright issues. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School, and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Stanford McCoy – Chief Intellectual Property Negotiator for Enforcement
Mr. McCoy previously served as an Associate General Counsel in the USTR Office of General Counsel. He is an experienced trade litigator and served as principal advisor to U.S. trade negotiators on intellectual property trade matters, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the intellectual property provisions of U.S. free trade agreements, and the annual "Special 301" review. He has represented the United States as lead attorney in both WTO and North American Free Trade Agreement dispute settlement proceedings. He has also been extensively involved in U.S. Government efforts to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights in China and elsewhere around the world.
Prior to joining USTR, Mr. McCoy was with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Brussels, Belgium and Washington, D.C., where his practice included international intellectual property enforcement, international trade law, and other matters. He is a graduate of DePauw University and the University of Virginia School of Law.