TOKYO - Negotiators from 37 countries Saturday reached a basic agreement on an international treaty to crack down on counterfeit and pirated products at a meeting in Tokyo, the Japanese government said.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is designed to create an international framework to halt the distribution of counterfeit brand goods and pirated music and film products.
The 37 countries are Japan, the United States, members of the European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico and Morocco.
"Japan made the proposal to start discussions on the ACTA and has promoted the negotiations. I welcome the basic agreement very much," said Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata in a statement.
The meeting excluded China, where counterfeit products are widely produced and distributed. To make the accord effective, the participating countries are expected to call on China and other nations to join the framework.
Japan called for creating the treaty, with the negotiations with other countries kicking off in 2008.