U.S. Chamber Partners with National Geographic on Groundbreaking Film

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 8:00pm

President and CEO Tom Donohue calls for Global Intellectual Property Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last night called on governments, businesses, and consumers around the world to join the fight in protecting intellectual property (IP), at the global premiere of the National Geographic film, Illicit: The Dark Trade.

"The ability to protect innovation and creativity is at the very core of U.S. economic competitiveness. The growing theft of intellectual property is wreaking havoc on legitimate commerce at the expense of human safety and jobs," said Donohue. "This film should sound an alarm bell for government leaders, businesses, and consumers around the world that the time to act is now."

Illicit: The Dark Trade, based on the best-selling by Moisés Naím, exposes the criminal networks behind the multi-billion dollar global trade of illicit goods. From medical devices and pharmaceuticals to auto parts, toothpaste and DVDs the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and pirated products has a devastating impact on our economy, jobs, and consumer health and safety.

At the premiere, Donohue challenged consumers to do three things to aid in the fight-commit to only purchasing legitimate goods from legitimate vendors; encourage the U.S. Congress to pass the PRO-IP Act-legislation that will toughen sentences for the crooks that commit these crimes and increase resources to fight them; and join the Chamber's global campaign to protect IP.

"IP theft costs the U.S. economy between $200 - $250 billion dollars a year and has resulted in the loss of over 750,000 jobs," he stated. "This is a serious crime with serious consequences and we all have an important role to play in putting an end to it."

The Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion IP as a vital engine of global development, growth, and human progress. The film is one aspect of the Center's multi-million dollar efforts to rebuild global support for fundamental intellectual property rights.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.