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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989

Memorandum on Intellectual Property Rights


Memorandum for the United States Trade Representative

Subject: Enforcement of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930

In view of your memorandum advising me of the decision to permit adoption of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) panel report on section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, I am setting out the Administration's policy regarding Presidential review of section 337 orders.

I am committed to the adequate and effective protection of U.S. intellectual property rights. This Administration places the highest priority on strengthening the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Uruguay Round and in bilateral negotiations.

Pending enactment of legislation amending section 337, which could most effectively occur through Uruguay Round implementing legislation, the Administration will continue to enforce section 337 without change. The Congress by law has authorized me to disapprove section 337 orders for policy reasons. In accordance with this Administration's existing practice, use of this authority should be considered only in those unusual circumstances where compelling public policy reasons may require disapproval. Pending legislative modification, the GATT panel report should not provide a basis for changing current practice with respect to Presidential review or for disapproving section 337 orders.

I appreciate your assurance that the USTR-led interagency process will give the highest priority to working with the Congress, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the private sector to develop an effective, GATT-consistent section 337 mechanism.

George Bush

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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