USTR Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator

In February 2016, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 became law, as PL 114-125. Section 609 of the law created a new position in USTR, the "Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator." This position creates a position for a presidential poltical appointee confirmed by the Senate, with the rank of ambassador, replacing the current system where the IP negotiators are civil servants, reporting to political appointees. Section 611 from Senate Committee Report 114-45 provides some context. In the final version of the bill as reported from the Conference Committee, the new position is modeled after the chief agricultural negotiator.

The law went into effect in 2016, and the position of the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator" was not filed by President Obama. President Trump has yet to propose anyone for the job.

H. Rept. 114-376 - TRADE FACILITATION AND TRADE ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2015
114th Congress (2015-2016)
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/house-report/376/1
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/644/text

Became Public Law No: 114-125.

SEC. 609. ESTABLISHMENT OF CHIEF INNOVATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATOR.

(a) In General.--Section 141 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171) is amended--

(1) in subsection (b)(2)--

(A) by striking ``and one Chief Agricultural Negotiator'' and inserting ``, one Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and one Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator,'';

(B) by striking ``or the Chief Agricultural Negotiator'' and inserting ``, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator, or the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator''; and

(C) by striking ``and the Chief Agricultural Negotiator'' and inserting ``, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator''; and

(2) in subsection (c)--

(A) by moving paragraph (5) 2 ems to the left; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

``(6) The principal functions of the Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator shall be to conduct trade negotiations and to enforce trade agreements relating to United States intellectual property and to take appropriate actions to address acts, policies, and practices of foreign governments that have a significant adverse impact on the value of United States innovation. The Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator shall be a vigorous advocate on behalf of United States innovation and intellectual property interests. The Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator shall perform such other functions as the United States Trade Representative may direct.''.

(b) Compensation.--Section 5314 of title 5, United States Code is amended by striking ``Chief Agricultural Negotiator.'' and inserting the following:

``Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
``Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative.''.

(c) <> Report Required.--Not later than one year after the appointment of the first Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 141(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by subsection (a), and annually thereafter, the United States Trade Representative shall submit to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives a report describing in detail--

(1) <> enforcement actions taken by the Trade Representative during the one-year period preceding the submission of the report to ensure the protection of United States innovation and intellectual property interests; and

(2) other actions taken by the Trade Representative to advance United States innovation and intellectual property interests.