WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 report on Monday, outlining the effectiveness of trade partners in combating infringement of the rights of U.S. intellectual property holders.
The U.S. claims 18 million American jobs dependent upon intellectual property. The sector also represents the largest source of export revenue for the U.S.
The Special 301 report provides a means by which the U.S. promotes the protection of intellectual property rights abroad with 77 of its trading partners. Two lists, the Watch List and the Priority Watch List, include nations where the USTR has assessed weak protections of rights.
This year’s report called out Italy as the subject of an out-of-cycle review to monitor progress it has made on improving its IP protections. Italy currently resides on the Watch List.
Meanwhile, Canada and China, the two largest trading partners of the U.S., both appear on the Priority Watch List, along with 10 more countries such as Pakistan, Israel and Russia. The Watch List includes 29 countries, such as Mexico, Greece and Spain.
“We are ready to work intensively with [other nations] to stop intellectual property theft that threatens IP-related jobs in the United States and other countries,” said Ambassador Ron Kirk. “[This] report is a springboard for ambitious and collaborative partnerships in the coming year to strengthen protection for the innovation and creativity that drive jobs and exports for the United States and our partners around the world.”