May 22, 2018

Corker Applauds Committee Passage of Resolution of Ratification for Marrakesh Treaty

Treaty to Expand Access to Books for the Blind and Visually Impaired

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded Senate Foreign Relations Committee passage of a resolution of advice and consent to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which would facilitate access to books and other published materials for the blind. The committee held a hearing on the treaty in April with testimony from the State Department and other key stakeholders, including representatives for the National Federation of the Blind, the Association of American Publishers, and the Library Copyright Alliance, all of which support U.S. ratification of the treaty and the bill to implement it. Corker is also a cosponsor of S.2559, the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, which was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee on May 15.

“Today, the blind and visually impaired are essentially cut off from much of what is published around the world because the market for printed materials in formats that they can read doesn’t exist,” said Corker. “This treaty is based on existing U.S. standards for expanding access to books for the blind and has the backing of all stakeholders involved. I’m confident with the support from the administration and among both parties in Congress, we can make a real difference in the lives of the millions of people worldwide who will benefit.”

Passage of the resolution of ratification requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate. The implementing legislation, which would put the U.S. in compliance with the treaty, must pass both the House and Senate and be signed into law by the president.