Release Date: Sep 13, 2005Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Criticizes China's IPR Protections
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In its fourth annual review of China's World Trade Organization (WTO) implementation performance, the United States Chamber of Commerce called China's WTO commitments to protect and enforce intellectual property rights (IPR) a matter of grave concern.
"China's IPR enforcement did not markedly improve for our companies in 2005," said Myron Brilliant, Chamber vice president for East Asia. "While we recognize increasing efforts and attention by China's central government to address this problem, current measures have failed to significantly reduce epidemic levels of piracy and counterfeiting. China should also take immediate steps to increase imports of legitimate products that are now distributed and used illegally."
The report cited specific areas of progress in China over the past year, including the relatively smooth acquisition of trading rights by foreign companies, approval of U.S. companies to conduct auto financing, and steady improvement in China's agriculture import management. China, however, missed key implementation deadlines and is continuing to adopt policies that are more restrictive for U.S. companies than those in place prior to its WTO accession. As China nears the end of its phase-in period for WTO implementation, it must expand market access that underlies the letter and spirit of its commitments.
"The Chamber remains committed to working constructively with the Chinese government and its emerging private sector to develop solutions to intellectual property and other trade differences," Brilliant said. "But China must demonstrate that its efforts to crack down on piracy and counterfeiting are yielding concrete results."
The Chamber's report, which was submitted to the United States Trade Representative, also indicated that the Chamber and its broad membership are seeking more evidence from Chinese authorities that they are following through on recent promises to the U.S. government to increase criminal enforcement against IPR infringers and accelerate efforts to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. The Chamber will continue to support U.S. government efforts to address China's failure to comply with its IPR and other commitments through bilateral and WTO mechanisms.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region.
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Editors Note: A copy of the Chamber's report is available online.