Defenders of Property Rights today announced plans to petition Acting U.S. Trade Representative, Peter Allgeier, to revoke Brazil’s preferred trade status with the United States, otherwise known as the Generalized System of Preferences.
The United States is reviewing Brazil’s GSP status and is expected to reach a decision by March 31, 2005.
“Brazil’s failure to enforce existing property right laws demands a revocation in their GSP status with the U.S.,” said Nancie Marzulla, president of Defenders of Property Rights.
“Brazil’s intellectual property rights abuses under the leadership of President Lula threaten the strength and growth of the American economy.”
Brazil, one of America’s largest trading partners, exported goods valued at $21.3 billion in 2003 to the U.S., of which, 14 percent enjoyed duty-free status.
In January 2001, due to a petition from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) for a chronic lack of enforcement of copyright laws, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) placed Brazil on the Special 301 Watchlist.
The withdrawal of duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences would send a strong message to the government of Brazil, which has relied on its special duty-free trade status to develop into the world’s 11th largest economy.
Brazil announced last week that it intends to break patents on AIDS drugs, demanding that U.S. companies forfeit their intellectual property rights, opening the door for further intellectual property abuses.
Defenders of Property Rights was founded in 1991 to counterbalance the governmental threat to private property as a result of a broad range of regulations.
They say they believe that society can achieve important social objectives such as protection of the environment and preservation of the national heritage without destroying private property rights or undermining free market principles.
Defenders of Property Rights