Draft Resolution Supporting the Intellectual Property (IP) Provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

Summary

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was negotiated before intellectual property (IP)-intensive industries made up such a significant portion of U.S. GDP and when IP provisions in trade agreements were weaker than those typically found in more recent agreements negotiated by the United States. In contrast, the robust IP provisions found in the newly-negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are far superior to NAFTA’s and merit strong support.

Draft Resolution Supporting the Intellectual Property (IP) Provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

Whereas, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policy on free trade acknowledges that, “the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade…are deterrents to American economic interests;” and

Whereas, the United States, Canada and Mexico share a belief in freedom, representative democracy and market principles as recognized in the U.S. Constitution; and

Whereas, trade among our North American trading partners is made up predominantly of intellectual property (IP)-intensive goods and services that employ millions of Americans in high paying jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic output; and

Whereas, many of the IP-intensive goods, services and exchanges through which trade is facilitated in the NAFTA bloc did not exist when the agreement was drafted and this situation has resulted in uneven and weak IP enforcement; and

Whereas, trade agreements are the most appropriate mechanism to harmonize and strengthen IP rights protections ensuring domestic and foreign business are on the same equal footing before the law; and

Whereas, stringent enforcement of IP rights has been found to correlate closely with greater household income, Foreign Direct Investment, and Gross Domestic Product; and

Whereas, the IP provisions found in the USMCA are the most comprehensive of any multilateral U.S. trade agreement and are vastly superior to those included in NAFTA;

Therefore be it resolved, that ALEC applauds the intellectual property provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement; and

Be it further resolved, that ALEC urges the President of the United States to retain NAFTA until USMCA is implemented to ensure continuity in trade among the three North American economic partners; and

Be it further resolved, that strong consideration be given to lifting U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico in return for the lifting of retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico;

Be it further resolved, that upon adoption, an official copy of this Resolution be prepared and presented to the President of the United States, to the Chairmen and Ranking members, and all other members of the U.S. Senate Finance and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committees, to the members of the Senate and House Advisory Groups on Negotiations, to the U.S. Trade Representative, to the U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, State, and Labor, to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.