The U.S. Trade Representative uses the slogan "leveling the playing field" to build support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, but in truth, the TPP levels the playing field to our disadvantage. Take medical innovation, for example: America leads the world in creating cutting-edge medicines. But the TPP threatens this strength by weakening intellectual property rights. Under U.S. law, makers of biopharmaceuticals enjoy twelve years of exclusivity (essentially patent protection), but TPP cuts this term to five or, in some cases, eight years. Creating biopharmaceuticals is an expensive, lengthy process, but it improves health care and provides well-paying jobs. If IP protections are slashed, American investors won't put in the resources that make biopharmaceuticals such a boon to our economy.
America suffers from a $445 billion trade deficit, but we remain the leader in many industries thanks in large part to robust protections for intellectual property. The TPP is only the latest trade deal to sacrifice American interests to the global economy. Countries that don't share our values are writing the rules for us; it should come as no surprise when we then lose.