The Obama Administration released its 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement yesterday, which highlights IP’s role as a “key driver” of our economy, the progress that’s been made in recent years, and a path forward on what the government can do to ensure intellectual property rights promote the rights of creators.

The strategic plan reiterates findings from a March 2012 Department of Commerce report that concluded that, in 2010 alone, IP industries contributed more than $5 trillion to the U.S. economy, created or supported 40 million jobs, accounted for 60 percent of all exports, and produced better paying jobs than other industries. It goes on to emphasize how essential the continued promotion of IP rights is to innovators and creators – and to America’s role as a leader in the global economy.

As the United States powers the world out of the global recession with its innovative economic engine, intellectual property enforcement remains as essential as ever. As long as the intellectual property rights of Americans are protected and American workers, engineers, entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators are given a level playing field unhindered by infringement, we will continue to produce the technology and works of art that drive the world’s economy and enable healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives.

The 92-page report cites accomplishments the various government agencies with a role in IP enforcement have made in recent years, and discusses areas that can be improved upon, as well as recommending new actions.

Specifically, with regard to illegal foreign websites that are outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law, the administration recommends voluntary initiatives by the private sector, much like the partnership with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on the Copyright Alert System, in addition to increased cooperation with trading partners and international law enforcement agencies.

Voluntary initiatives by the private sector are intended to help reduce the ability of foreign and domestic websites to target U.S. consumers. IPEC has worked closely with Internet service providers (ISPs), advertisers, credit card companies, payment processors, search engines, domain name registrars, and registries to encourage voluntary steps to reduce infringement.