Oct 142013

obama briefing-whitehousephotoThanks to Inside U.S. Trade for posting the full transcript of President Obama’s October 8 press conference about the government shutdown.  During the press conference, New York Times reporter Mark Landler asked Obama if China benefited from his absence from the recent APEC and Trans Pacific Partnership meetings in Bali.  Obama’s response brought up the way that the U.S. wants to raise norms on intellectual property through the Trans Pacific Partnership in order to eventually raise them in China:

“… On trade, in particular, though, here is an area where part of what we’re trying to do is raise standards for, for example, intellectual property protection, which sometimes is a big problem in China. And if we can get a trade deal with all the other countries in Asia that says you’ve got to protect people’s intellectual property that will help us in our negotiations with China.”

This will not come as a surprise to people who have been following the TPP.  However, it is the first time I have seen the President say outright that the patent and copyright rules being negotiated in the TPP are meant to be extended to other countries.



  One Response to “President Obama: intellectual property provsions in the TPP “will help us in our negotiations with China””

  1. I find this troubling. In 1979, China said “you’ve got to protect people’s intellectual property,” as the President put it, and joined WIPO the following year. Clearly, this is not about getting China to do what it did 34 years ago. Perhaps the President grossly over-simplified or was unprepared, but I fear worse. If it were simply about getting China to achieve the current U.S. standard, there would be absolutely no reason for the U.S. to operate in such secrecy as to what we are negotiating to raise the standard to. This lends greater support to those who believe that the secrecy is to protect the nefarious intent of altering international norms such that the U.S. will be forced to re-calibrate its own standards to serve the private interests who have a top secret seat at the table.