Obama Calls For TPP Approval On Eve Of ITC Hearing 13/01/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On the eve of a three-day mega hearing on the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) starting today at the US International Trade Commission, President Barack Obama called on Congress to approve the trade deal. In his final annual State of the Union Address last night, the TPP got only a minor mention. But there was a call for innovation to lead the way. The ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the deal with Europe, was not mentioned by Obama in his last State of the Union. It would seem obvious Obama does not expect to finalise the deal with Europe during his tenure. The TPP, Obama said, would “cut 18,000 taxes on products Made in America” and be a job engine. And Obama’s major point on the deal was: “With TPP, China doesn’t set the rules in that region, we do.” The three-day hearing starting today at the ITC starts the legislative process to adopt the TPP and the general feedback of most large business associations can be roughly summarized as “in favor with concerns.” Day one of the hearing will see representatives from Singapore, Japan and Peru as well as two congressional and one State Department witness, as well as a long panel with business and labour organisations testifying, and an extra section on digital trade. Thursday is dedicated to agriculture, manufacturing and a short session with academic representatives. The final rounds on Friday will see the testimonies of speakers from the textile, apparel and chemicals and a “various topic session,” before experts on IP and pharmaceuticals – of which some can be expected to raise considerable concerns over access to drugs – conclude the hearing. The last speaker of all, Manon Ress, speaking for the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT), certainly will challenge the commitment made by the President in his State of the Union Address that the US could cure cancer once and for all. The UACT, after the TPP was finalised, warned that the agreement would raise costs and be detrimental to innovation here. State of the Union Obama said the US economy is strongest in the world, but urged that Americans “reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges.” Areas for research he mentioned included medical issues such as cancer, energy, and climate change. Among other mentions, he said the US is on track to end HIV/AIDS, and will pursue the same with malaria, with legislation forthcoming from the administration this year. He also mentioned US efforts to protect an open internet, though he didn’t mention privacy issues. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) hailed the reference to the TPP. MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement: “In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama highlighted the advancement of America’s trade agenda through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a top economic priority for our nation. We share this commitment, because the US film and television industry is a global economic sector that relies on open market access and strong copyright protections to support nearly two million American jobs.” “The Trans-Pacific Partnership will lower trade barriers and help creators protect their content, allowing our industry to expand in key foreign markets, bring that investment back to the United States, and promote even more jobs here at home,” he continued. “We welcome the President’s vision on this issue and look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the Administration to enact this globally and economically significant trade agreement.” William New contributed to this story. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Obama Calls For TPP Approval On Eve Of ITC Hearing" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.