The vast majority of the world’s medical innovation occurs in the United States because of a reliable patent system where risk is rewarded, innovators are protected, and a predictable flow of resources fuels continuous research and development. In 2015, America’s biopharmaceutical sector invested nearly $60 billion in R&D—double the automotive and aerospace industries combined—and supported 4.5 million American jobs. Trade agreements with other nations extend this mutually beneficial arrangement into new frontiers, helping us reach patients and consumers who would otherwise not have access to the latest treatment and cures.
In many cases, as with Australia and South Korea, the United States has well-written trade agreements—that too often are ignored. In other cases, as with Turkey and the Russian Federation, U.S. trade partners attempt to circumvent restrictions by creating illegal (and illogical) requirements designed to favor local competitors at the expense of U.S. innovators.
The U.S. Government must hold its trading partners to account. The health of the American economy—and millions of patients around the world—hangs in the balance.