Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay) (24-25 October) and Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China) (17 November)
United States of America
13. The representative of the United States said that the proposed item O was squarely within the Council's mandate. There would be a serious problem if WTO Members could not discuss a positive IP enforcement item in the Council dedicated to IP protection and enforcement issues. These objections were particularly problematic from the perspective of transparency. 14. The proposed item was intended to provide an opportunity to discuss ACTA and the promotion of IP enforcement. Specifically, it would offer the ACTA participants the chance to answer questions posed by WTO Members in the Council. He found the objections curious in the light of those questions. In 2010, there had been interest among many of those Members now objecting to discuss enforcement. In the June 2010 meeting, one Member had specifically sought to discuss ACTA, noting that the agreement was "mysterious". Members had asked questions about its provisions and objectives. China, for example, had noted in June 2010 that, based on the draft agreement and acknowledging that the text was in brackets, there seemed to be an intention to broaden the scope of piracy and counterfeit. To answer that question, ACTA did not broaden the scope of piracy and counterfeits. As provided in the definitions section of the agreement, counterfeit and pirated goods were defined the same way as they were defined in the TRIPS Agreement. 15. The agenda request satisfied the Council's procedural rules and surpassed them. The request had been submitted to the Secretariat prior to the ten-day notice to Members pursuant to Rule 3 and in writing pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure. In addition, the proponents had provided the ACTA text for the consideration of Members in the three official languages of the WTO. In the past meetings, it had not been common practice for Members requesting agenda items to provide additional written documentation. The item had been requested pursuant to the usual procedures for a meeting specific agenda item. Any future requests would be subject to further consideration by the Members of the requesting group. He looked forward to questions under the item.