KEI’s March 4, 2016 submission to USTR regarding the Special 301 list

This is a slightly expanded version of the testimony we provided at the March 1, 2016 USTR Special 301 hearing. I had some trouble uploading to Regulations.Gov, but emailed a copy to Christine R. Peterson, the Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation. One addition was this data:

We have reviewed the submissions of PhRMA, BIO, BSA, IIPA and the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center, among others. One thing that jumps out at you is that the primary predictor of whether or not a country is targeted by industry is the size of its economy. In Northern Africa, South America and Asia, being big means being a target.

We are attaching an excel spreadsheet (assuming we can upload it) that lists data on population, income (measured by GNI) by region.

  • In South America, the seven largest economies were targeted for various watch lists by the 5 industry trade groups. The smallest 5 economies, not once.
  • In North Africa, the two largest economies were targeted. The three smaller economies were not.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, only Nigeria was targeted. Nigeria has the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In the Asia Pacific region, 7 of the 8 largest (Japan was the exception) and 11 of the 16 largest economies were targeted. No county with a 2013 GNI less than $162 billion was targeted.
  • In Central America, the country with the highest per capita income was the only one targeted (Panama).

There are some other additions, such as the brief section on Indonesia:


Indonesia had a 2014 GNI per capita of $3,630 USD. According to the World Bank, 42 percent of the population (106 million persons) live on $3.10 or less per day.

PhRMA wants Indonesia on the priority watch list, in part complaining about compulsory licenses issued in 2004, 2007 and 2012. If Indonesia did not issue those compulsory licenses, the consequences would have been people dying for lack of access to affordable drugs.

The members of the Special 301 committee organized by the Administration apparently have been assigned extraordinary life or death power over people living far away in conditions of poverty. Don’t follow PhRMA’s appalling recommendations.

As noted in our oral testimony on March 1, we also draw connections between the Snowden revelations of US internet and software related surveillance and the lack of meaningful privacy regulation in the United States to the understandable practice by countries to limit data flows, require open source code and favor domestic software providers.

No one has the time to go through and respond to the hundreds and hundreds of industry commentary in the Special 301, but we do try to show up and make statements every year. The KEI submission is here: