The government of Canada has expressed interest in participating in new trade agreement discussions that involve policy measures to protect intellectual property. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently completed a consultation on Canada's interest in joining negotiations surrounding a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP). The consultation documents were posted on the USTR website on Jan. 15. “The TPP is an opportunity to build on NAFTA, obtain new market access in the Asia-Pacific, and contribute to new trade disciplines. Canada will contribute to efforts to establish effective measures on cross-cutting issues, such as regulatory coherence, supply chain facilitation, and the digital economy,” Canada wrote in its submission for the consultation. “With its knowledge-based economy, Canada recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property rights. In recent years, Canada has taken legislative and regulatory steps to further protect intellectual property rights. The Government of Canada is committed to passing legislation to modernize our copyright regime and has also signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, demonstrating a strong commitment to combat the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.” The parties to the proposed agreement are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Michael Geist, the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, blogged about a leaked draft of the agreement this month, noting that it “would extend the term of copyright, require even stricter digital lock rules, restrict trade in parallel imports, and increase various infringement penalties.” The USTR says the agreement will enhance trade and investment among partner countries and promote innovation and economic growth. The U.S. has said it aims to finalize an agreement this year.