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Manufacturers Want Tougher Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

The National Association of Manufacturers is working with the US government to promote intellectual property protections around the globe, including the rights granted under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.

“The NAM welcomes the new administration’s emphasis on intellectual property protection and enforcement as reflected in its release last week of its 2017 Trade Policy Agenda, particularly given that global intellectual property theft remains a significant challenge for manufacturers in the United States, particularly small- and medium-sized manufacturers,” says the association, in a formal release.

Innovation and intellectual property are keys to driving the economic success of manufacturers. And while such protections and enforcements are strong at home, they can lack safeguards abroad. Theft of intellectual property is all too common, which then jeopardizes new products and services — not to mention American competitiveness.

A 2013 report by the Commission on the Theft of Intellectual Property found that stolen ideas, brands and inventions cost the US economy $300 billion, says NAM.

In NAM’s written submission to US Trade Representative, it points to the five most problematic countries for manufacturers: China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Russia,  The association also list others that need to be watched, which include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and Thailand.

“Issues facing manufacturers in these markets cover all areas of intellectual property and innovation, including growing challenges to legitimate patent and trademark use, rampant counterfeiting and piracy, lack of effective trade secrets protection and attacks on IP at global institutions,” the association says. 

To progress with intellectual property infringement, the group wants the Trump administration to use the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement ActThat framework includes using the World Trade Organization to resolve trade disputes and intellectual property protections.

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