USCIB Urges US and China to Avoid Trade War

Washington, D.C., March 22, 2018 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, responded to the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese exports along with restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States. USCIB expressed continued concern over Beijing’s trade abuses while also urging the administration to tread carefully to avoid a trade war.

“We support the goal of getting China to stop its unfair trade practices and treatment of U.S. intellectual property,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We are encouraged to see that the administration is considering a range of tools in addressing these concerns, including WTO dispute settlement. However, we remain concerned that potential new U.S. measures and Chinese retaliation will hurt American companies, workers, farmers and consumers.“

President Trump today announced his intention to impose tariffs on some $50 billion of exports from China under Section 301 of the 1974 trade act, in response to intellectual property violations and other trade abuses. Specifically, he instructed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative to publish, within 15 days, a list of proposed Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs, while the Treasury Department will have 60 days to recommend steps to restrict Chinese investment in the United States.

“It’s been said that nobody wins a trade war,” Robinson added. “That would be especially true of a trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Escalation of the current dispute would severely impact our members, who rely on sales in both markets and who maintain complex global supply chains encompassing both countries as well as many others. These overseas sales and supply chains support millions of jobs in the United States.”

Robinson concluded: “We therefore urge the Trump administration to carefully consider the actions it takes pursuant to this Section 301 report, and we encourage both governments to work together to resolve these unfair trade practices before taking steps that will damage both economies.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043

USCIB Ramps Up Work on Intellectual Property and Innovation

L-R: John Sandage (WIPO) and Paul Salmon (USPTO) at the October 18 launch of USCIB’s Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee

Washington, D.C., October 25, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most innovative and successful global companies, has redoubled its efforts to promote American competitiveness with the launch of its Intellectual Property and Innovation Committee.

The new committee, chaired by Sharon Reiche, corporate counsel for global patents and policy at Pfizer Inc., builds upon USCIB’s longstanding commitment to improved protection of intellectual property – and the innovation and creativity it underpins – via robust U.S. trade policy and expanded international diplomatic commitments.

The inaugural meeting of the new USCIB committee took place on October 18 in Washington, D.C. Special guests at the meeting included John Sandage, deputy director general for patents and technology at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Paul Salmon, senior counsel for international affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Broad-based business groups like USCIB sometimes find it difficult to reach consensus on some aspects of innovation and IP policy,” said Michael Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who is the lead USCIB staff member supporting the new committee. “We are confident that, with a new structure and a new commitment to working proactively toward the common goal of improving our members’ global competitiveness, we will be able to forge ahead and identify new international initiatives to secure IP rights and promote innovation.”

Michener said the committee will focus its activities via four newly created working groups, covering trademarks, trade secrets, patents and copyrights.

Another guest at the October 18 meeting was Daphne Yong-d’Herve, chief intellectual property officer with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization for which USCIB serves as the exclusive American affiliate. Yong-d’Herve provided an overview of ICC’s newly elevated status as an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. This is expected to augment ICC’s longstanding work with WIPO and other international agencies, as well as national governments, to promote effective protection of intellectual property around the world.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide.

As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

 

USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation

New York, N.Y., February 21, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.

Working out of USCIB’s Washington, D.C. office, Michener will lead the organization’s policy work on chemicals, health, food, agriculture and intellectual property. He will also coordinate USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to USCIB, especially his background in working with international organizations, that will contribute greatly to our efforts on behalf of members,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government relations. “We are excited to have him join our team at a time when the policy and regulatory challenges facing American companies are complex and growing.”

Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.

Previously Michener served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in two different roles. First, as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, he managed 1,100 employees and an annual operating budget of $300 million.  Then, as minister counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, he served as the special representative of the U.S. secretary of agriculture to UN bodies dealing with food and agricultural issues.

Michener has also worked with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Agency for International Development, and he served with the United States Army for seven years in Europe. Michener earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bowie State University and a bachelor’s degree East European studies from the University of Maryland.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence.  Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.

With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Congratulates U.S. on Signature of Anti-Counterfeiting Pact

New York, N.Y., October 3, 2011 – The group that represents American business on the global stage welcomed the conclusion of an ambitious international anti-counterfeiting pact between the United States and several leading nations.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) signed Saturday in Tokyo an important sign of more aggressive international cooperation to stem rampant counterfeiting and piracy.

“The business community congratulates U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and his team for concluding this important agreement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson.  “Strong action is needed to combat the worldwide proliferation of fake products, which threatens U.S. consumers, jobs and our competitiveness.”

According to USTR, 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 also includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong enforcement practices.  Together, these provisions will help to protect American jobs in innovative and creative industries against intellectual property theft, USTR said.

In addition to the United States, parties to ACTA are Australia, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.

USCIB has a long record of advancing intellectual property rights around the world.  It was an early supporter of protecting IPRs in the World Trade Organization via the Uruguay Round.  As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), USCIB provides American business views to foreign governments and international organizations, including the World Intellectual Property Organization.  USCIB also helped launch ICC’s BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) initiative, which coordinates the business community’s response, across industry segments and across national boundaries, in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

“Business is working with our partners around the world to keep action against counterfeiting and piracy at the top of the international agenda,” said Mr. Robinson.  “We look forward to working with the U.S. and other governments to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of ACTA going forward.”

About USCIB

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

More on BASCAP (ICC website)

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee

Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business Launched at European Union Conference

3834_image001Strasbourg, France, October 17, 2008 – The International Chamber of Commerce’s BASCAP group today launched a set of intellectual property (IP) guidelines designed to help businesses manage copyright and branded materials, and deter trade in counterfeit and pirate goods.

During a special session at the European Union Conference on Industrial Property Rights in the Internal Market, in Strasbourg, France, the ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy initiative (BASCAP) launched the Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business to provide information to businesses on practical steps that they can take to protect their own innovation and creativity in IP-based products and services, as well as to protect against the risk of using counterfeit materials or infringing other companies’ IP rights.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 130 countries, the Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world.  It is represented in the United States by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its American national committee headquartered in New York.

Copyright and branded goods are an important part of every modern economy.  The most innovative and advanced sectors rely heavily on IP to support innovation in their own products and services.  Nearly every enterprise today uses or produces some form of IP in its business – from its own trademarks on products, to copyrighted publications, music, video or software, to branded goods or services of all types.

The BASCAP guidelines will help companies assess the effectiveness of their IP management policies, and to consider new options for improving performance and managing the risks associated with counterfeiting and piracy. They deal with IP management in all its forms within companies, from IP development to component sourcing, manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, relations with intermediaries and handling of third parties’ IP.

“Counterfeiting and piracy of copyright and branded goods are a $600-billion worldwide problem which hurts not only consumers but also businesses and the overall economy,” said Richard Heath, vice president of global anti-counterfeiting for Unilever and co-chair of the BASCAP steering committee.  “Good laws and government enforcement are crucial to combat this problem, but there is a lot that businesses can do to protect their own creative and innovative products, and to avoid the risk that their supply chain or company operations have been compromised by infringing items.”

Senior European Union officials applauded the move.  “I am extremely pleased that ICC and BASCAP will unveil new IP guidelines to help business to manage and protect intellectual property,” EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevey told forum participants.

USCIB President Peter M. Robinson welcomed release of the BASCAP guidelines.  “We strongly support the BASCAP initiative, and we are pleased that many American companies took a leading role in development of the guidelines,” he said.  “Clearly this is a worldwide problem that requires a coordinated global solution.  These guidelines provide a clear roadmap for any company looking to better protect its most important assets.”

ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban said the guidelines are designed to be useful to a wide range of businesses in different sectors, and are suitable to be tailored to deal more specifically with particular industries or sectors.  “We hope the launch of the ICC-BASCAP IP Guidelines will introduce Forum participants and government officials to the guidelines and encourage the adoption of good IP management practices as part of corporate and public policies,” he said.

According to Jeff Hardy, ICC’s BASCAP coordinator, the launch is the first step in a worldwide rollout of the guidelines through ICC’s worldwide network.  “Our first steps have been to provide copies to the ICC national committees and their member companies located in 90 countries worldwide.  We have also provided the IP Guidelines to all BASCAP member companies for further distribution to their global affiliates.  This year should be a busy year as we look forward to a series of workshops and roll-out events working with ICC national committees and their members large and small.”

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes some 300 U.S.  companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:

Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB

+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Dawn Chardonnal, ICC Communications Department

Tel: +33 1 49.53.29.07 or dawn.chardonnal@iccwbo.org

BASCAP Intellectual Property Guidelines for Business (full text)

BASCAP website

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee

Business Leaders Unveil New Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting and Piracy

Top members of BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) met today in New York.
Top members of BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) met today in New York.

New York, March 3, 2008 – Industry leaders from around the world today unveiled new strategies to combat counterfeiting and piracy, including a set of urgent recommendations for a global anti-counterfeiting pact being negotiated by major trading countries.  In addition, they called on heads of G8 countries to lead the way in improving national intellectual property enforcement regimes and announced a set of their own in-country initiatives beginning with Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, China and the United States.  The CEOs also announced plans for a ground-breaking consumer education campaign that will take a global approach to building awareness of the damages caused by counterfeiting and piracy.

The CEOs and senior corporate executives of the International Chamber of Commerce’s BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) initiative met today in New York with the U.S.  Trade Representative Susan Schwab and top representatives of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to agree on joint efforts to tackle counterfeiting and piracy.  The CEOs called on Ambassador Schwab to move quickly towards completing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in cooperation with its trading partners, and pledged their support to work with WCO and WIPO.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 130 countries, the Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world.  It is represented in the United States by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its American national committee based in New York.  Top USCIB member representatives took part in today’s BASCAP meeting.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and USCIB President Peter M. Robinson.
U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and USCIB President Peter M. Robinson.

ICC has pushed for business to become more involved in developing ACTA, which was introduced in October by the U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and other countries.  The new agreement would focus on filling the gaps not covered by existing multilateral agreements, including stronger enforcement measures, improved international cooperation and a strong legal framework for intellectual property protection.

“It is a positive step and very encouraging that the U.S., EU, Japan and many other major developed countries have recognized the need for a new multilateral agreement dealing with this critical issue,” said Bob Wright, vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric and co-chair of BASCAP.  “It now is essential that the parties keep the momentum going and move quickly to the next stage of developing a process and drafting the ACTA framework agreement.  BASCAP members and others in the private sector are committed to working closely with governments to support this process.”

ICC and the International Trademark Association (INTA) have teamed up to support ACTA.  “Expectations for ACTA are high,” said Alan C. Drewsen, INTA’s executive director.  “This proposed agreement has the potential to deliver significant improvements in establishing stronger international guidelines and standards, and providing national governments with clear directives for action.”

The two global business organizations today presented a paper outlining their recommendations to Ambassador Schwab.  ICC and INTA will distribute the paper to the leaders of the EU, Japan, Korea, Mexico and other governments, and will work with business organizations around the world to press governments to finalize an agreement.

Ambassador Schwab added: “With ACTA we are aiming to set a new, higher international standard for intellectual property rights enforcement, one that addresses today’s challenges.  Private-public collaboration is a vital component in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.  That’s why we welcome BASCAP and INTA’s support and continued input as we move forward with ACTA.”

ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban said: “Quite simply, there is a need for a new gold standard to guide government performance on IP enforcement.  We hope that ACTA can emerge as this new standard, especially since the existing regimes just aren’t enough.”

Business Leaders Call for G8 Action

BASCAP executives expressed concern that little concrete action has been taken on promises made at G8 meetings in 2006 and 2007.  “The work program laid out today comes at a critical time.  Counterfeiting and piracy are taking a tremendous toll on the global economy.  The situation is getting worse, not better,” said Jean-Rene Fourtou, chairman of the supervisory board of Vivendi and a BASCAP co-chair.  “While some progress has been made, individual governments need to do more.”

“Today we are calling on G8 leaders to respond to the recommendations by BASCAP prior to the Summit in Germany last year by taking immediate actions to shut down flagrant counterfeit markets and to work with us to find appropriate steps on other recommendations,” said Nobuyuki Idei, BASCAP co-chair, representative director of Quantum Leaps Corporation and former CEO of Sony Corporation.

BASCAP will launch country-based action centers to leverage local business voices and push for tangible actions at the national level.  The initiative will begin this year with Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, China and the United States.

“Our focus is on setting benchmarks for global performance by governments and companies, framing decisions for policymakers, pushing for the allocation of resources at the highest levels in national governments and improving awareness on a global basis,” said ICC’s Mr. Sebban.

WCO Leader Calls for Cooperation to Stop Flow of Fakes

Border control will be a critical element in strengthening each country’s intellectual property enforcement regime.  Business leaders pledged to support the World Customs Organization’s latest plans to strengthen customs efforts to stop the flow of counterfeit goods across borders.

WCO Secretary General Michel Danet cautioned: “Counterfeiting and piracy continue to increase at an alarming rate.  We have to invent our own future; it’s time to step up our action in collaboration with the private sector and the time is now.”

Business/Government to Cooperate on New Consumer Education Campaign

BASCAP today also announced plans for a new consumer awareness and education campaign that could be used by ICC’s national committees and brand protection groups to spell out the dangers of counterfeit and pirated goods.  BASCAP announced plans to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and seek out other government partnerships on the campaign.

WIPO Deputy Director Michael Keplinger said: “We cannot afford to ignore the far-reaching and acute threats posed by the spread of counterfeiting and piracy.  A coherent global response requires coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders − governments in developed and developing countries, intergovernmental institutions, the private sector and consumers.” He added: “Joining forces, the public and private sectors can make great strides in changing perceptions about the seriousness of the problem and we look forward to collaborating with BASCAP companies in taking concrete steps to raise public awareness about the issue.”

The BASCAP Global Leadership Group includes some of the world’s largest companies.  Today’s meeting marked the third time the group has met since the cross-sector initiative was launched by ICC in 2005.

Participants at today’s meeting included:

  • Bob Wright, vice chairman and executive officer, General Electric (U.S.)
  • Nobuyuki Idei, representative director of Quantum Leaps Corporation and former CEO of Sony Corporation (Japan)
  • Jean-René Fourtou, chairman of the supervisory board, Vivendi (France)
  • David Iakobachvili, chairman, WBD Foods (Russia)
  • Jean-François Dehecq, chairman, Sanofi-Aventis (France)
  • Doug Morris, CEO, Universal Music (U.S.)
  • Kevin Havelock, president, Unilever United States (United Kingdom)
  • Blair Westlake, corporate vice president, media & entertainment group, Microsoft (U.S.)
  • Andreas Fibig, senior vice president, U.S. Pharmaceutical Operations, Pfizer (U.S.)
  • Marc-Antoine Jamet, secretary general, LVMH (France)
  • Pat Heneghan, global CEO advisor on anti-illicit trade, British American Tobacco (UK)
  • Guy Sebban, secretary general, International Chamber of Commerce
  • Michel Danet, secretary general, World Customs Organization
  • Michael Keplinger, deputy secretary general, World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Ambassador Susan Schwab, U.S.  trade representative

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes some 300 U.S.  companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contact:

Jonathan Huneke

VP Communications, USCIB

+1 212 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

BASCAP website

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee

Multinationals Welcome Plans for Anti-Counterfeiting Pact

BASCAPNew York, N.Y., October 23, 2007 – Plans for a new international agreement to coordinate enforcement efforts to curtail counterfeit goods won a thumbs-up today from representatives of America’s top global companies.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), whose members include more than 300 U.S.-based multinational companies and affiliated organizations, said better enforcement was urgently needed to stop an epidemic of intellectual property rights theft.

Representatives of the United States, European Union, Japan and other countries plan to launch negotiations leading to a new multilateral agreement to strengthen common standards for intellectual property rights enforcement.  The governments said they hoped other developed and developing countries committed to intellectual property rights enforcement would quickly sign on to the agreement.

“If successful, this initiative could be a major turning point in the worldwide fight against fake products,” said USCIB President Peter M. Robinson. “Rampant counterfeiting and piracy threaten not just companies’ bottom lines, but also the health and safety of consumers, the competitiveness of national economies and the foundations of our global economy.  There are few more pressing concerns for global companies.”

The proposed International Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement would spell out measures for better international coordination of anti-counterfeiting efforts, put forward agreed best practices for enforcement and align signatories’ legal frameworks to ensure that adequate criminal, civil and border protection measures are in place.

USCIB supports a statement from leaders of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) initiative, offering to provide business views and expertise to reinforce this new commitment by governments. BASCAP is a global effort to coordinate the business community’s response, across industry segments and across national boundaries, in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes over 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3.5 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

ICC/BASCAP release

More on BASCAP

U.S. Business Welcomes OECD Report on Countefeiting and Piracy

New York, N.Y, June 4, 2007 – Representatives of America’s top global companies applauded today’s release of a landmark report from the 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the economic costs of counterfeiting and piracy.  Release of the report’s summary was timed to coincide with this week’s G8 summit in Germany, where the issue is on the agenda for leaders of the world’s leading economies.  The full report will be released this summer.

The United States Council for International Business welcomed the OECD report, “The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy.”  The report includes new figures on the scope of international trade in fake goods, and concludes that the magnitude and effects of the problem are “of such significance that they compel strong and sustained action” from governments, business and consumers.  The report recommends increased enforcement of existing laws and tighter cooperation between governments and industry to make current policies more effective.

“Policy makers need to pay close attention to what the OECD is saying,” according to USCIB President Peter M. Robinson.  “Counterfeiting and piracy take a heavy toll on governments, businesses of all sizes and of course consumers.   It’s wholesale theft, by well organized criminal networks, that endangers consumer health and safety, harms the reputation of companies, cuts into tax revenues and discourages much-needed foreign investment.”

The OECD report says the flow of illicit cross-border trade in so-called “hard goods,” i.e., tangible counterfeit and pirated products, could be up to  $200 billion, a figure greater than the national GDP of some 150 countries.  But it concedes that this represents just the tip of the iceberg, since the OECD did not tally the cost of domestically produced and consumed counterfeit and pirated products, or the economic costs of online piracy.  The report concludes that, if these factors were included, “the magnitude could be several hundred billion dollars more.”

The report provides clear indications that product counterfeiting and piracy are growing – and affect virtually every country, industry and product category.  The OECD notes that, while governments are increasingly acknowledging the problem and putting laws and regulations in place, more effective enforcement is critical.

For the past several years, business representatives and others have been pushing the G8 to more forcefully address the growing tide of counterfeiting and piracy. Last week, a group of top executives from around the world wrote to G8 leaders under the umbrella of Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce, urging them to take bigger, bolder steps to beat back counterfeiting and piracy.

The private sector contributed data and analysis to the authors of the report, working through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, and it wants to see the OECD do more to assess the scope of the problem and explore solutions.

“The OECD report points out that these illegal activities have significant effects on governments, industry, consumers and society at large from lost innovation, creativity, investment, jobs and overall economic growth and development, especially in developing markets,” said Richard Johnson of the law firm Arnold & Porter, who chairs the BIAC counterfeiting task force.  “We support the OECD’s conclusion that more work is needed in this area, and we stand ready to help find ways to do this.  We hope the upcoming G8 summit will endorse the findings of the OECD report and its recommendations for future government actions.”

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes more than 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3.5 trillion.  As the exclusive American affiliate of three key global business groups – the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers, and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD – USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:

Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB

+1 212.703.5043 (office), +1 917.420.0039 (mobile) or jhuneke@uscib.org

OECD Report on Counterfeiting and Piracy

BIAC website

BASCAP website

More on USCIB’s Intellectual Property Committee

At G8 Business Summit, USCIB Chairman Urges Governments to Avoid Investment Protectionism

Joint statement by business federation heads also presses for Doha Round’s completion

USCIB Chairman William G. Parrett (second from left) joined other top business chiefs at the first-ever G-8 Business Summit in Berlin (Photo: BDI).
USCIB Chairman William G. Parrett (second from left) joined other top business chiefs at the first-ever G-8 Business Summit in Berlin (Photo: BDI).

Berlin, April 25, 2007 – At today’s first-ever G-8 Business Summit, the chairman of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), William G. Parrett, also CEO of Deloitte, urged the leaders of the Group of Eight nations to maintain their commitment to the open flow of international investment across borders, realizing countries still need to address local issues such as national security.

“Governments need to take action at the highest level to avoid investment protectionism if we want to encourage the free flow and benefits of international investment,” said Mr. Parrett, who represented the United States in the G-8 business preparatory meeting, which was organized by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).  “They need to affirm, in word and practice, their commitment to open, cross-border investment.”

The Berlin summit brought together the heads of top business federations from Germany, which hosts this year’s G-8 leaders summit in Heiligendamm this June, and the other G-8 nations along with the trans-European business federation Business Europe.  The business leaders signed a joint G-8 Business Declaration that will be presented to the G-8 government leaders, urging completion of the WTO’s Doha Round “as a matter of urgency and top priority,” and proposing ways to address related trade and investment issues, innovation challenges such as intellectual property rights, and climate protection.  They were scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later today.

Investment protectionism has been on the rise both in the G-8 nations and elsewhere, and curtailing such measures was among the top priorities spelled out by the business leaders in a joint statement.  Mr. Parrett pointed to a number of recent measures that he said needlessly interfered with foreign mergers, acquisitions and greenfield investment under the guise of security concerns.

Mr. Parrett said business recognized that the world had changed dramatically since 9/11, and that governments must pay more attention to national security issues.  “But a legitimate concern for national security needs to be balanced against the benefits of allowing foreign investment,” he said.  “Blocking a foreign takeover for reasons of national security should be an extremely rare occurrence, and should be taken as a measure of last resort, only when all other rules or tools that are designed to protect national security are not adequate or effective.  Further, blocking international investment should not be used as a means to give unreasonable commercial advantage for domestic businesses.”

Mr. Parrett called upon the G-8 governments to support annual updates by the OECD of measures to restrict investment on grounds of national security, and the extension of this study to the issue of informal barriers to investment.  He urged that the business community be fully engaged in helping identify such informal barriers.

The business leaders focused on a number of other issues they said required attention by their governments at the Heiligendamm summit.  These included completion of the WTO’s Doha Round, fostering intellectual property rights, enhancing efficient capital markets, strengthening environmentally friendly technologies and facilitating private-sector participation in African development.

Peter M. Robinson, president of USCIB, who was also in Berlin, drew attention to the need for immediate action by the G-8 governments to protect intellectual property rights and stamp out product piracy.  “The issue has moved far beyond movies and music,” he said.  “Nowadays no industry, and no country, is immune from counterfeiting and piracy.  Government action is urgently needed at the highest levels to stamp out this scourge.”

The United States Council for International Business promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes more than 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3.5 trillion.  As the American affiliate of several leading global business groups, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contacts:
Jonathan Huneke
, VP Communications, USCIB
Tel: +1 212 703 5043 or +1 917 420 0039 (mobile)
E-mail: jhuneke@uscib.org

Madonna Jarrett, Director, DTT Public Relations and CEO Communications
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Global Survey More Enforcement Needed to Curb Counterfeiting

New BASCAP study ranks top – and bottom – ten countries for I.P. rights protection

The first annual BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy provides a snapshot of country and business efforts to stop the theft of intellectual property.
The first annual BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy provides a snapshot of country and business efforts to stop the theft of intellectual property.

Geneva and New York, January 29, 2007 – Global companies say more government enforcement is what is needed most to win the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, according to a new survey unveiled today by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The first annual BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy was conducted by ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, in cooperation with the Cass Business School, part of City University, London.  The survey polled 48 companies, many of which operate globally, spanning 27 product categories.

The findings provide a snapshot of country and business efforts to stop the theft of intellectual property, which has become a substantial drain on business, and has led to the widespread loss of jobs and a massive reduction in tax revenues.

“Not only does unfair competition from counterfeiting and piracy worldwide drain billions annually from the ‘virtuous circle’ of economic growth that intellectual properly generates, but we are particularly concerned about the risks for consumers from unsafe counterfeit products,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman & CEO of Nestlé.  “We urge the assistance of governments to curb the proliferation of counterfeit products.”

ICC is the world business organization, the only representative body bringing the views of companies from every region and every sector to bear upon global policy matters.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), based in New York, serves as ICC’s American national committee.

Meeting today in Geneva under the umbrella of BASCAP, CEOs and senior corporate officials from four continents, including those from some of the world’s largest companies, discussed the survey results and announced a new plan to step up the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

When asked which area would yield the best results in curbing counterfeiting and piracy – legislation, public education or increased enforcement – survey respondents rated enforcement much higher than the other options.

“The survey shows a lot more work needs to be done on enforcement, said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.  “We need to educate policymakers that greater investments in IP enforcement will translate into more jobs and tax revenues, and also help them in the fight against organized crime.”

The survey ranked the best- and worst-performing countries in addressing counterfeiting and piracy. Companies rated the U.S., U.K., Germany and France, respectively, as exemplary.  Also among the best performers, in descending order, were Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.

On the other end of the spectrum, respondents named China and Russia, respectively, as the two worst-performing countries, followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine.

“The mention of these bottom-performing countries shows the problem is indeed worldwide and requires a global solution, said Mr. Sebban.  “Focusing on one or two problem areas is simply not enough.”

American executives at the BASCAP meeting echoed this sentiment.  “This issue needs to be moved up on the agenda of every business leader, every trade organization and every policymaker,” according to Bob Wright, CEO of NBC Universal.  “At risk is every sector of our economy where creativity, innovation and invention drive the creation of economic value and of high-wage jobs.”

Regarding business strategies to rein in fake products, respondents said they spent over half their investment on anti-piracy technologies and product differentiation. “The investment of around 50 percent of R&D in technologies to thwart copying indicates that companies are working hard to stay a step ahead of the pirates,” Mr. Sebban said.

Future surveys will examine the I.P. regimes of top-performing countries to identify best practices, flag problem areas and track progress.  An index will rank country performance.

About BASCAP

Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) was established by ICC in 2005 to connect all business sectors and cut across all national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.  This global approach is designed to leverage individual company and organizational efforts and amplify business messages with national governments and intergovernmental organizations.  Through BASCAP, more than 150 companies and associations are now actively engaged in a set of projects designed to defeat the pirates and increase public and political awareness of the economic and social harm caused by this illegal activity.  More information is available at http://www.iccwbo.org/bascap/id1127/index.html.

About USCIB

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes some 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:

Dawn Chardonnal, communications manager, ICC

+33 1 49 53 29 07, dcl@iccwbo.org

Amy Lehr, media relations coordinator, USCIB

+1 212 703 5063, alehr@uscib.org

 

BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy

BASCAP website

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