The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today launched a major new initiative designed to better protect and promote American jobs and ingenuity in todays increasingly challenging economy. The Global Innovation Forum will seek to create new opportunities and enable solutions to global challenges through effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) worldwide.

The NFTC represents more than 300 companies, many of which are global innovation leaders that rely on intellectual property protection and a predictable global trade system to employ tens of millions of workers, said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. There are few more cost effective ways to stimulate the economy than to ensure a predictable global IP system that protects jobs. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that intellectual property accounts for half of American exports and 40% of U.S. economic growth, so it is critical that we have the appropriate resources, rules and enforcement of those rules in place to support these workers.

The Forum will initially focus on international policy issues related to fostering innovation and innovation job growth, intellectual property protection, technology transfer and efforts to address global challenges. The Forum will launch a Web site next month focused on these issues and intends to hold a series of meetings to advance a dialogue among innovative company representatives and workers, consumer groups, international development organizations and policymakers.

The global economic slowdown is creating new pressures on both innovators and consumers at a time when the world is confronting enormous challenges related to developing new energy solutions, improving public health, creating environmental sustainability, securing access to food and nutrition and raising global living standards, said John Stubbs, Executive Director of the Global Innovation Forum. These challenges will be met by the hard work of creative minds in the United States and around the world our goal is to provide a forum to advance policies that support that creative effort and promote active ecosystems for innovation.