Think tank: US blasts china over tech theft

10 May 2013 09:39  [Source: ICB]

The US has launched yet another broadside against China for flagrant violations of fair trade and World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property protections, complaining that Beijing has done little in 10 years to improve.

US trade officials expressed continuing and "grave concerns" over misappropriation of trade secrets in China and a lack of substantive progress by Beijing toward improving protection for intellectual property rights (IPR).

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Rex Features

The US has accused China of continuing to undertake industrial espionage

In its annual report on protection of trademarks, patents, copyrights and other IPR protections, the US Trade Representative (USTR) again singled out China for failing to live up to IPR obligations required by China's admission to the WTO in 2001.

The USTR did say that "China is currently engaged in sustained legal reform efforts, which have resulted in the revision of laws, rules, guidelines and judicial interpretations across the range of IPR disciplines".

"The large-scale revision of the IPR legal regime presents an opportunity to improve IPR protection and enforcement, and the US is hopeful that a legal reform effort on this scale signals China's commitment to achieving major improvements," the report said.

In the meantime, "real world conditions [in China] for rights holders have overall seen little improvement".

China's trade policies have been the frequent focus of Congress, the USTR and other US policymakers, with the US accusing Beijing of outright technology theft and other industrial espionage targeting US chemical firms, among others.

In the "Special 301 Report" issued on 1 May (named after a section of the 1974 Trade Act), the USTR devoted more than six pages to ongoing problems with China. Most other nations cited were discussed in a paragraph or two.

US chemical producers have often been the target of attacks, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and those infiltrations are escalating.

The USTR said it would continue to consult with the Beijing government in hopes of remedying IPR violations, but the report also said that Washington would "raise concerns relative to China's implementation of its WTO commitments" to the WTO.

A special congressional commission set up to monitor China's compliance with WTO obligations recently recommended that the US begin banning the import of some Chinese products and bar dealings with some Chinese firms.

By: Joe Kamalick
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