Wednesday, May 1, 2013

USTR Releases "Special 301" Report, Places 9 of 20 FTA Partners on Watch Lists

Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis announced today that the Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") released its annual "Special 301" Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners' protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights ("IPR") and market access for persons that rely on IPR protection.

In this year’s Special 301 Report, USTR designates Ukraine a Priority Foreign Country ("PFC"), marking the first time in seven years that a country is listed in that category. The PFC designation is reserved by statute for countries with the most egregious IPR-related acts, policies and practices with the greatest adverse impact on relevant U.S. products, and that are not entering into good faith negotiations or making significant progress in negotiations to provide adequate and effective IPR protection.

The "Priority Watch List" includes Chile. According to the report, "The United States continues to have serious concerns regarding outstanding IPR issues under the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement." In addition to the U.S.-Chile FTA, which has been in effect since January 1, 2004, Chile is member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently negotiating a large regional Free Trade Agreement ("FTA").

Other nations on the Priority Watch List are: Algeria, Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela.

On the Watch List are US FTA partners Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico, and Peru. The nations of Canada, Mexico, and Peru are also members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as is Vietnam, another nation on the Watch List.

Other nations on the Watch List are : Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Italy (member of the European Union, with which the U.S. is negotiating an FTA), Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,

USTR's press release, with link to the Special 31 report are available on the USTR website at

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