The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a new agreement for combating intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. The ACTA negotiation concluded in October 2010, nearly three years after it began, and negotiating parties released a final text of the agreement in May 2011. Negotiated by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, the ACTA is intended to build on the IPR protection and enforcement obligations set forth in the 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
This report discusses commercial ties between the United States and the 27-member European Union. These ties are substantial, growing, and mutually beneficial, but differences in regulatory approaches limit an even more integrated marketplace from developing. This report is intended to serve as an introduction and primer on this complicated, broad, and often highly technical set of issues.
In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
This report provides detailed background and legal analysis of the nature of the current European Union embargo on arms exports to China. It also provides detailed background on the European Union’s current Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. A strengthened version of the Code would be one of the control mechanisms that would remain should the EU lift the embargo on arms exports to China. This report also gives information on recent EU arms exports authorized for China. It further summarizes U.S. concerns regarding the lifting of the arms embargo, and notes the prospective timing of EU action on the embargo issue.
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