Multilateralising TRIPs-Plus Agreements : is the US strategy a failure?
Accord sur les aspects des droits de propriété intellectuelle qui touchent au commerce (1994)
Multilatéralisme (Relations internationales)
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AbstractThis paper examines the current wave of US bilateral agreements with respect to their strategic and
political value at the plurilateral level. The US government has explicitly recognized its objective of
leveraging bilateral agreements in order to influence regional and multilateral negotiations. Although it
may be too early to assess the full effectiveness of this US strategy, the paper argues that there are clear
signs that the exploitation of bilateral agreements will not independently achieve the goal of strengthening
plurilateral patent norms. This finding is supported by an assessment of six potential roads from
bilateralism to plurilateralism: chain reaction, pressure for inclusion, coalition building, emulation, legal
interpretation, and adherence. The assertion that bilateral trade deals have a great impact on international
patent lawmaking, made both by proponents and critics of TRIPs-Plus agreements, is unsubstantiated. The
author concludes that the US Government Accountability Office and Congress are justified in questioning
whether the negotiation of these bilateral agreements, at least in the realm of IP law, is a wise investment
of US Trade Representative’s resources.