BIO supports Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014

The Biotechnology Industry Organization said to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee on Jan. 13 that it supports the "Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014."

The new bill outlines Congressional objectives for trade agreements, and provides a process for approval of agreements that are negotiated by the administration.

"This legislation would help advance the global goals of our members significantly by ensuring that trade agreements reflect a high level of intellectual property rights modeled on U.S. laws, strengthening the transparency and accountability of drug reimbursement regimes, and removing unjustified barriers to agricultural biotechnology trade," BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood said.

Greenwood said the industry is engaged in research and development of new medicine and treatment, and BIO would like to ensure that U.S. biotechnology industry remains strong and the most advanced in the world.

"Biotechnology has the potential to be one of the cornerstones of U.S. global competitiveness in the 21st century if U.S. trade agreements ensure IP rights and fair play by our trading partners," Greenwood said. "Hundreds of thousands of new jobs will depend on this."

He said that the bill moves BIO's goal forward, and asked Congress for "swift enactment."

"We look forward to working with the Congress to enact this legislation, and just as importantly, to ensuring that trade agreements negotiated by the administration, such as the TPP and TTIP faithfully reflect these standards," Greenwood said.