Special 301 Letter to USTR 2.21.14

The Honorable Stanford K. McCoy
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Washington, D.C. 20508

Dear Assistant Secretary McCoy:

We write to stress the vital importance of intellectual property (IP) rights to our
local economies, businesses, and jobs. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of
Commerce, IP-intensive industries account for $5 trillion – or 34.8 percent – of U.S.
GDP, 60 percent of U.S. exports, and 40 million American jobs – jobs which pay, on
average, 42 percent higher wages than those in other industries. In short, IP plays a
crucial role in state economies, and serves as an engine for growth, a vehicle for
innovation, and a driver of prosperity.

It is critical to every state that IP be protected not only domestically, but in the international arena. Unfortunately, respect for IP continues to be lacking in some key foreign markets, including some major U.S. trading partners. This is particularly true with regard to India.

Over the last 18 months, we have seen continued policy, regulatory, and legal decisions in India that have deteriorated its investment climate, and particularly its IP environment. These concerns have been noted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both in its recent Special 301 submission to your agency and in the 2014 edition of its International IP Index, Charting the Course, which maps the IP environments of 25 countries around the world based on existing international standards and best practices. The Index, which provides a comprehensive review of all policy sectors where IP is important, found that India ranked last overall – and well below China among most indicators. We echo the U.S. Chamber’s concerns. To address this issue and encourage private sector investment in its economy, the Indian government must show greater respect for IP rights and implement effective IP protections along the lines of those recognized by its international partners, such as the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

In addition, we seek to highlight systemic international IP challenges which threaten the growth of the U.S. economy. In particular, we emphasize our growing concerns about the challenges posed by theft of intellectual property on the Internet; the need to improve enforcement efforts; and securing greater resources for the protection of intellectual property.

Thank you for taking these concerns, and those raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in their Special 301 submission, into consideration as you work with our international trading partners on issues relating to IP. IP rights are critically important to our nation and to the communities we represent, and we look forward to working with you to ensure their protection.


California Chamber of Commerce
Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry
Lincoln, NE Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce
New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Texas Association of Business
Virginia Chamber of Commerce