[Ip-health] Note from Amb. From on The 2014 Special 301 Report and India

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Thu May 1 10:14:38 PDT 2014


The 2014 Special 301 Report and India

04/30/2014 - 3:40pm

By Ambassador Michael Froman

In our 2014 Special 301 report, published today, USTR listed India on the
Priority Watch List, and, in addition, called for renewed and intensive
engagement with the Government of India as elections conclude and new
counterparts take office.  In light of the election in India currently
underway, we have decided to look to an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) focused
on India this Fall to evaluate our ongoing engagement on issues of concern
with respect to India’s environment for intellectual property (IP)
protection and enforcement.

During our Special 301 review this year, industry and other stakeholders
expressed a heightened level of concern about the deterioration in India’s
environment for IP protection and enforcement.  We share many of the same
concerns.  In determining how to proceed in this year’s report, we
carefully considered the range of stakeholder views and how to most
effectively make progress with respect to addressing these concerns.  In
announcing this year’s determination with respect to India, we are
redoubling our efforts to seek constructive engagement that will both
improve IP protection and enforcement in India and support India’s efforts
to achieve a “decade of innovation” and advance its legitimate public
policy goals, including access to affordable medicines.

Shared values form the bedrock of the U.S.-India relationship.  We also
face a number of shared challenges as we each take steps to advance
legitimate domestic policy objectives.  For example, our governments are
each focused on attracting domestic and foreign investment; strengthening
our domestic manufacturing base; improving infrastructure, both physical
and digital; providing safe and reliable healthcare to all, including those
most vulnerable; increasing the supply of energy and reducing our
dependence on fossil fuels; and defending our countries against internal
and external threats.  And all of this work is ultimately designed to
create jobs and improve the well-being of our populations.

Although at different levels of economic development, the United States and
India can cooperate and draw upon the deep reservoirs of knowledge and
skills in both countries to reinforce the efforts of both governments to
respond to these shared challenges.  That is exactly what we have been
doing through the broad range of bilateral cooperation that helps us meet
these challenges, including our dialogues on Education, Energy, Health,
Science and Technology, and, of course, the Trade Policy Forum.

Today’s Special 301 Report highlights an opportunity for building on our
bilateral relationship in the critical area of intellectual property.  We
believe that an environment conducive to the protection and enforcement of
IP can be part of solving pressing domestic policy challenges.  We consider
this to be the case whether we are speaking of attracting investment,
promoting manufacturing, promoting green technology, or providing
high-quality and affordable healthcare.

The Special 301 Report identifies opportunities for improved engagement on
issues related to IP and access to medicines.  The United States recognizes
the public health challenges that India faces, and looks forward to working
with the Indian government to identify the range of ways in which these
challenges can be addressed, including by adopting policies that support
the innovation of life-saving medications and address obstacles its
population faces in accessing quality health care.

We believe an enhanced discussion of a broad range of trade and innovation
policies—as they relate to important domestic policy objectives—would be an
ideal area for further bilateral collaboration.

The Special 301 Report also identifies other key opportunities for
strengthened bilateral cooperation.  For example, the United States and
India are home to some of the world’s most vibrant creative
industries—including in film, music and software—industries that face
serious piracy challenges at home and abroad.  Our industries have
successfully collaborated in this area.  Our governments may also be able
to find ways to collaborate productively at the technical and senior
official level.  Challenges with respect to IPR enforcement have benefited
from ongoing cooperation between IP authorities and judicial officers in
both countries.  This cooperation should be significantly enhanced.

The Out-of-Cycle Review echoes India’s emphasis on strong
government-to-government and government-to-private sector engagement, as
the most effective means for resolving concerns in this area.  Through the
Out-of-Cycle Review, we will seek to ensure that both governments achieve
the meaningful, sustained, and effective engagement required to strengthen
this critical bilateral economic relationship.

The Special 301 Report allowed us to look back at India’s recent policies
and highlight areas where more joint work would be in our mutual interest.
 Now is the time for us to look forward to making that happen.  The
election of a new government in India provides an ideal opportunity to turn
areas of contention into areas of collaboration.  The remarkable history of
this bilateral relationship in just the last twenty years tells us that
this is not only possible, but essential if the world’s two largest
democracies are to demonstrate successfully the “defining partnership” that
President Obama identified as a key feature of this century.

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