Intellectual property provisions and support for US trade agreements



Intellectual property rights are a key piece of the expanded trade agenda, and the United States has pushed hard to strengthen protections beyond WTO standards in its trade agreements. While agreement provisions governing intellectual property are commonly thought to be an important driver of corporate preferences over US trade policy, systematic empirical evidence for this proposition, especially in comparison to other determinants of trade policy, is generally lacking. To fill this void, this paper examines variation in reliance on intellectual property across US industries to explain attitudes and lobbying on US trade agreements. The effects of IP provisions on support for US trade agreements are politically substantial, though trade remains the primary determinant of preferences over trade agreements.


Intellectual property Intellectual property rights (IPRs) TRIPS Trade agreements Firms Associations Services 

JEL Classification

F13 O30 F53 D72 



The authors wish to thank Dirk De Biévre, Amanda Kennard, Ryan Powers, Aydin Yildirm and participants in the University of Michigan’s Political Economy Workshop, as well as three anonymous reviewers.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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