He is skeptical:
What the T.P.P. would do ... is increase the ability of certain corporations to assert control over intellectual property. Again, think drug patents and movie rights.
Is this a good thing from a global point of view? Doubtful. The kind of property rights we’re talking about here can alternatively be described as legal monopolies. True, temporary monopolies are, in fact, how we reward new ideas; but arguing that we need even more monopolization is very dubious — and has nothing at all to do with classical arguments for free trade.
Now, the corporations benefiting from enhanced control over intellectual property would often be American. But this doesn’t mean that the T.P.P. is in our national interest. What’s good for Big Pharma is by no means always good for America.
Is he right to have doubts? We'll be talking about this at Cato this coming Wednesday:
Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: National Interest or Corporate Handout?
Featuring Margot Kaminski, Executive Director, Information Society Project, Yale University; Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation; and K. William Watson, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
Intellectual property has been a focus of U.S. trade policy for many decades, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations include an especially ambitious effort by the United States to strengthen international intellectual property laws. At the same time, however, there is serious debate within the United States over the proper scope and level of intellectual property protection. Is it in the interests of the United States to seek to harmonize intellectual property rules around the world, or is the U.S. position overly influenced by special interests hoping to export bad policy abroad and to lock it in at home? Come hear our panel of experts discuss why trade agreements cover intellectual property law, whose interests are served, and what, if anything, should be done about it.