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U.S. copyright industries generated $45.8 billion in sales abroad in 1993, making intellectual property the country’s second largest export industry behind automobiles and automotive parts.

That’s one of the nuggets included in a report released last week on Capitol Hill by the Intl. Intellectual Property Assn., a D.C.-based group that represents the interests of Hollywood studios, the music industry, book publishers and computer software developers.

IIPA’s report – prepared by Economists Inc. – states that copyright industries accounted for 3.7% of U.S. gross domestic product in 1993, or $238.6 billion in sales. Employment in U.S. copyright firms doubled to 3 million U.S. workers between 1977 and 1993, and now stands at 2.5% of the total U.S. work force.

Moreover, jobs created in copyright industries grew by 2.6% per year in the past five years as opposed to annual job creation of 0.7% by the rest of the economy.

The timely IIPA report comes as U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor is threatening a trade war with China unless that country begins better enforcement of laws aimed at curbing intellectual property theft.

Attending last week’s press conference were Reps. Carlos Moorhead (R-Calif.) and Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.), the chairman and ranking minority member of the House copyright subcommittee, respectively. Also on hand were Motion Picture Assn. of America president Jack Valenti, Recording Industry Assn. of America chairman Jay Berman and IIPA general counsel Eric Smith.