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Canada signs anti-counterfeiting treaty

Published by Steve Coleman on October 03, 2011

Pirates beware.

Canada has joined as the newest country to sign a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement designed to crack down on the trade in fake goods.

The federal government committed to signing the legislation during this June's Throne Speech to help guarantee intellectual property rights. Japan first proposed the measures at the 2006 G-8 Summit. Canada entered the talks in 2007.

"Counterfeit and pirated goods are an increasingly global problem that requires a globally coordinated solution," said International Trade Minister Ed Fast in a news release. "We all have an interest in combating counterfeiting and piracy because these activities cost billions of dollars each year in revenue and trade losses, which translates into higher prices, lost income and lost jobs for people employed in a range of industries-from film and pharmaceuticals to electronics. Counterfeit goods also pose a real threat to the health and safety of people because the producers of goods such as drugs and auto parts evade the rigorous rules, standards and guidelines that are in place to protect consumers."

The treaty will set new international standards for protecting property rights and covers three areas. ACTA was written to help improve international cooperation, establish best practices for enforcement and provide a better legal framework to deal with counterfeiting and piracy.

Australia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States have also signed the agreement. Thirty-eight countries were involved in the negotiations.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters welcomes the fact the federal government has officially signed ACTA, said Jean-Michel Laurin, Vice President, Global Business Policy. The next significant step will be the legislation to back it up.

Said Laurin: "Ratifying the ACTA is important to ensuring the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights - another point that will be just as important will be to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources needed to effectively stop the trade of counterfeit goods."

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