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Address by Minister Fast at the Signing Ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

No. 2011/31 - Tokyo, Japan - October 1, 2011

Check Against Delivery

Canada is proud to sign this important agreement today.

I’d like to congratulate our Japanese hosts not only for bringing us together for this event, but for pioneering this initiative in 2006.

Since then, Japan and its 37 negotiating partners, including Canada, have worked diligently to negotiate the agreement we’re signing today.

Canada understands very clearly the negative impact that increased trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has on economic growth and the health and well-being of our citizens.

And we recognize the important role that intellectual property protection and enforcement plays in addressing this issue.

Counterfeit and pirated goods cost billions of dollars each year in revenue and trade losses.

This translates into lost income and lost jobs for people employed in a range of industries—from film and pharmaceuticals to electronics.

The impact to the economy is devastating—especially for knowledge-based economies like ours.

Counterfeit goods also pose a real threat to the health and safety of people because the producers of these goods evade the rigorous rules, standards and guidelines that are in place to protect consumers.

The agreement we’re signing today is a strong show of global support to stop the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and protect intellectual property.

I congratulate all of our co-signatories today for taking this action.

I assure our international partners that Canada will continue to work closely with you, so that together we stop, once and for all, the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and ensure that those responsible for their production face the appropriate legal consequences.

Thank you.