International trade in intellectual products has increased in recent years, leading to a dramatic rise in the U.S. International Trade Commission's (USITC) caseload (USITC 2012, pp. 20-25). As individuals interact globally through travel and internet access, they also more frequently use and create intellectual products that are accessible on a global scale; thus, nation states' treaty negotiations on intellectual products have an important impact on their own citizenries as well as those of others. When technical communicators author intellectual products they may enter into a process of communicative interaction that leads to self-actualization , the state of having achieved personal potential and satisfied abstract internal desires and drives. The products they create may also be characterized as protected speech in critique and commentary. But in settings where marketing interests are favored over goals to produce products that not only increase profit, but are also useful in a humanistic sense, technical communicators also have the capacity, even inadvertently, to use intellectual products in ways that can inhibit the self-actualization and speech processes of others. At the international level, technical communicators may operate within marketing structures that might even inhibit the rights of those in developing countries whose power to participate in a commodity system may be limited or controlled. (For instance, writers might work to market tourism to an area that could be harmed culturally and environmentally by the presence of visitors outside the natural norm.)

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