Comments, National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers and Reports on Sanitary and Phytosanitary and Standards-Related Foreign Trade Barriers

Dear Ms. Blue:

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is submitting this letter in response to the request by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for comments to compile the National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers. BIO is very pleased to have the opportunity to submit these comments, and respectfully requests that USTR consider the following remarks.

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in the United States and 32 other nations. BIO Members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products and services.

Intellectual property rights are the foundation of the biotechnology industry. BIO Members depend on obtaining patents and related rights in a timely and predictable manner, and the ability to enforce those patents is critical. Biotechnology is also a uniquely global enterprise. BIO Members have a particular interest in encouraging uniform and robust intellectual property protection in all countries and regions of the world. Lack of adequate intellectual property protection can cause significant trade barriers for innovative biotechnology companies. Thus, we focus our comments on the lack of intellectual property in particular countries.

BIO appreciates this opportunity to submit its views for consideration by USTR. We are prepared to work with USTR to provide additional information regarding the countries we have identified.

Sincerely,

Lila Feisee
Managing Director, Intellectual Property
Biotechnology Industry Organization