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It is a challenge for the United States to adequately protect the interests of its intellectual property industries, especially when U.S. interests are not in line with the social, cultural, and economic goals of other nations. Yet, as a major exporter of intellectual property protected goods, the U.S. has an interest in negotiating effective international intellectual property agreements that are perceived to be legitimate by the state signatories and their constituents. Focusing on value divergence, this article contributes to the growing body of literature on developing a robust but flexible global intellectual property system, arguing that the trade-based approach to global intellectual property law undermines the apparent gains made in international intellectual property protection because it promotes a utilitarian economic view of intellectual property law while minimizing other values.