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USTR announces results of Out-of-Cycle-Review of El Salvador

Washington, DC.  – The Office of the United States Trade Representative today announced the results of its Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of El Salvador. 

Although there will be no change to El Salvador’s status based on the evidence available at the time of this OCR, USTR notes significant and ongoing concerns with El Salvador’s protection and enforcement of intellectual property, including the treatment of geographical indications and pharmaceutical products, and will continue to closely monitor developments.  This determination is without prejudice to the upcoming regularly scheduled Special 301 Review, the results of which will be published on or about April 30, 2014.

Background

Pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (1994), under the Special 301 provisions, USTR must identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection. Countries that have the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices and whose acts, policies, or practices have the greatest adverse impact (actual or potential) on the relevant U.S. products must be designated as a "Priority Foreign Country."

USTR has created a "Priority Watch List" and "Watch List" under the Special 301 provisions. A trading partner’s placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property. Trading partners on the Priority Watch List become the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.