The Conservative government announced that it signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on Friday. Parties to the ACTA held closed-door negotiations since 2007. They included Australia, Canada, the European Commission and the EU member states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Early, leaked drafts of the agreements included controversial intellectual property policy proposals modeled on the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But a consolidated text released in October last year showed that many proposals were watered down to policy resembling the Internet treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). “We all have an interest in combatting counterfeiting and piracy because these activities cost billions of dollars each year in revenue and trade losses, which translates into higher prices, lost income and lost jobs for people employed in a range of industries—from film and pharmaceuticals to electronics,” International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in a statement Friday. The government said in a release that ACTA was negotiated by 38 parties and establishes new international standards for intellectual property rights, international cooperation, and enforcement. The government added in the release that, in its June 2011 throne speech, it “committed to enforcing and defending intellectual property rights and helping balance the needs of creators and users to foster innovation- and knowledge-based prosperity.” The government said it will develop and introduce necessary legislation to implement the agreement. Last spring, the opposition parties on the House of Commons heritage committee recommended that the government exclude copyright policy from trade negotiations and focus on developing international copyright policy through bodies like WIPO.