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U.S. Chamber Warns China on Counterfeiting & Piracy

Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked the U.S. Trade Representative's office to begin World Trade Organization consultations on China's enforcement record for counterfeiting and intellectual property rights (IPR) protections and to list China as a priority watch country, in report filed today.

"China has failed to adequately enforce its own laws and regulations when it comes to piracy and counterfeiting violations," said Myron Brilliant, Chamber vice president for East Asia. "This is an endemic problem with immense consequences for the U.S. economy, our companies, particularly small- and medium-size businesses, and public safety."

Despite some limited progress in China's IPR enforcement efforts, the scope of copyright piracy and counterfeiting violations worsened in 2004, according to the Chamber. U.S. businesses are seeking concrete evidence this year from Chinese authorities that the IPR climate is improving, including far-reaching systemic reforms, prosecutions, convictions, and incarcerations. Short of that evidence, the Chamber would support U.S. government action to address China's failure to comply with its commitments through the WTO and other policy mechanisms.

The Chamber commended the USTR's efforts to address U.S. concerns on the matter, but said the limited steps taken by China to date are not enough to end the deteriorating business climate for intellectual property rights and piracy protections that both foreign and domestic companies face.

"We remain committed to constructive engagement with the Chinese government on this and other concerns," said Brilliant. "But China must move beyond words to actions that crack-down on intellectual property rights infringements in accordance with its WTO commitments."

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. /goto/ocr_china