Ambassador Miriam Sapiro Rebuts Concerns about USMCA’s Intellectual Property Provisions
WASHINGTON (August 27) — Today Miriam Sapiro, who served as Acting and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative during the Obama Administration, published a white paper discussing aspects of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sapiro, who is advising the Pass USMCA Coalition, concludes that USMCA is consistent with Congress’ directives and prerogatives as outlined in 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. As such, it deserves bipartisan support.
Sapiro’s paper responds to concerns that the agreement’s intellectual property protections for advanced “biologic” medicines will raise U.S. drug prices. She writes that “USMCA does not affect U.S. drug prices because it does not change rules that affect how the U.S. pharmaceutical market operates.”
Sapiro also addresses the misconception that USMCA might limit Congress’ ability to modify domestic law. As she explains, “Trade Promotion Authority . . . requires the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate trade agreements that reflect America’s high standards across the board, including with respect to intellectual property protections. If lawmakers have concerns with existing U.S. laws, they can work to change those laws at any time, regardless of whether there is a trade agreement in place.”
Sapiro further notes, “The language of existing trade agreements — and their implementing statutes — preserves Congress’ ability to legislate at any point.”
About Pass USMCA: The Pass USMCA Coalition is a group of trade associations and businesses advocating for the swift passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement. The provisions outlined in USMCA will defend American jobs, cultivate innovation, and encourage business development, spurring growth for local, state, and national economies.
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