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Polis Leads Bipartisan Call for Inclusion of Internet Economy in US Trade Agreements

Letter to Trade Ambassador requests a balanced approach to U.S.' intellectual property framework

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Washington, Aug 6, 2013 | comments
Today, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) led a bipartisan Congressional letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman requesting that all current and future trade agreements and negotiations advance the priorities of the Internet economy.
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Today, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) led a bipartisan Congressional letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman requesting that all current and future trade agreements and negotiations advance the priorities of the Internet economy.

 

The letter, which requests a balanced approach to our intellectual property framework and asks for increased transparency in our trade negotiations, highlights the impact the Internet economy has had on economic growth, which accounts for more than 20 percent of GDP growth in the United States and exceeds that of established economic sectors such as energy and agriculture. Further, the signatories argue that a trade environment conducive to this new vibrant economy would set a strong baseline for information to flow unrestricted across borders and provide a balanced intellectual property framework that enables new technologies and transformative ways to deliver content. (The text of the letter follows at the end of the release)

 

"We must ensure our trade policy is transparent and balanced," said Representative Polis. "Ensuring a balanced IP chapter will promote a thriving digital economy that is in everyone's interest- from content creators, to users and intermediaries. As digital trade expands, Congress and the Administration must work together to get the policy right. If we properly design our digital-trade policy system, we can positively develop the global economy for decades to come."

 

The letter also references the 15 million Internet users who contacted Congress regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Congressman Polis and several of the signatories to this letter were also ardent opponents of, and ultimately helped to block, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which threatened to undermine innovation and job creation on the Internet while failing to effectively combat intellectual property piracy. 

 

Congressman Polis has also been an outspoken critic of the lack of transparency surrounding the intellectual property provisions contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the impact these provisions have on a free and open Internet. Last September, he joined with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) calling on the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter to publicly release "detailed information" about the intellectual property provisions, which are of particular importance to the public, currently being negotiated in the TPP. 

 

Today’s letter was signed by 17 other bipartisan Members of Congress: Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Mike Honda (D- CA), Lloyd Doggett (D- TX), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

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