Washington, D.C. - Two senior Bush administration officials testified today on progress the administration has made with its Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) initiative. U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement Chris Israel and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Stephen Pinkos discussed the improvements made to intellectual property rights enforcement.
Israel and Pinkos appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Federal Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia. The hearing examined the effectiveness of the STOP! Initiative and analyzed improvements in U.S. efforts to combat intellectual property theft since the appointment of Israel as the IP Coordinator last July.
"Few issues are as important to the current and future economic strength of the United States as our ability to create and protect intellectual property. Combating piracy and counterfeiting is a top priority for the Bush administration," said Israel. "President Bush has consistently raised intellectual property enforcement with foreign leaders, placed the issue on the agenda of the G8 and made it a key part of the recent US/EU summit."
"Our STOP! hotline and our conferences are helping U.S. small businesses combat IP theft every day," Pinkos said.
The STOP! initiative has five primary goals: to empower American innovators to better protect their rights at home and abroad; to increase efforts to seize counterfeit goods at our borders; to pursue criminal enterprises involved in piracy and counterfeiting; to work closely and creatively with U.S. industry; and to aggressively engage our trading partners to join our efforts.
"Through the STOP! initiative, we are achieving results," said Israel. "Over the past year this administration has improved coordination across the U.S. government, maintained the commitment of senior administration officials, and received attention around the world. The United States takes IP enforcement very seriously. We are leveraging all of our resources to address IP enforcement and we have high expectations of all of our global trading partners."
U.S. IP industries account for over half of all U.S. exports. They represent 40 percent of our economic growth and employ 18 million Americans, who earn 40 percent more than the average U.S. wage.
For the full testimony and information on the STOP! initiative, please visit www.commerce.gov.