On February 25, 2019, Lindsay Meyer was quoted in Inside U.S. Trade on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) annual Special 301 report, which investigates IP protection and enforcement and places the most egregious IP offenders on a "priority watch list." According to the article, Indian industry groups are calling on the USTR to remove New Delhi from its list of the most egregious intellectual property violators.
Asked which country was likely to face the most scrutiny in this year's investigation, Meyer said that among the "usual suspects" – India, China and Russia – "I would put India at the top of the list."
Meyer, pointing to the 2018 report, said "In particular with regard to the pharmaceutical sector and access to medicines, I think there has been a stronger tone that the [U.S.] government has put forth."
Meyer highlighted a line in the 2018 report that says, "India's vocal encouragement and propagation of initiatives that promote the erosion of IP around the world, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, sends a concerning sign about India's commitment to strengthening its IP regime."
"Usually you see more neutral reporting," Meyer said, adding that an uptick in industry submissions to USTR this year was another sign of escalating pressure.
"This administration looks to all of the tools in its tool kit in order to apply pressure in the most effective manner, and that's typically done by multiple avenues. So not only having a [Special 301] report that is strong in tone but also looking to the GSP benefits," Meyer said. "Will it be a complete revocation? Probably not. But I can see benefits being significantly reduced as another tool to be employed."