U.S. Special 301 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Latest Updates
Supportive Letters from Members of the U.S. Congress
Other Related Documents


  • Under the Special 301 provision of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, USTR must identify Priority Foreign Countries (PFC), which are countries considered to deny adequate and effective protection for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access of persons that rely on IPR protection.
  • As a matter of administrative practice USTR will identify PFC based on the IPR aspects of the National Trade Estimate (NTE). In addition to PFC, USTR has established a Priority Watch List (PWL), Watch List (WL) and Special mention list for countries, according to different levels of inadequate IPR protection.
  • The Schedule for implementing the Special 301 provision is as follows:




    Public comments for the NTE report

    March 31

    Deadline for USTR to submit NTE report to Congress

    April 30

    Deadline for USTR to designate PFC, WPL, WL
    and/or Special Mention and announcement of out-of-cycle review(s) (if any)

    May 31

    Deadline for initiating investigation of PFC

    October and January

    Out-of-cycle review determination(s)

    For more information on Thai IPR please see: