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

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Staff Contact:   Barbara Wanner

VP, ICT Policy & Managing Director, Washington Office
Tel: 202.617.3155

Barbara Wanner directs USCIB’s work on information, communications and technology issues. She works with members and government officials on a wide range of international business issue that include advocating for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and for policies aimed at promoting the stability, openness and innovative flexibility of the Internet. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN, APEC and the OECD.
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