Monday, November 20, 2006

Is China a responsible international stakeholder, does it comply with WTO's TRIPS?

November 16, the chairman and vice chairman gave a preview of the 2006 Annual Report to Congress of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC). The Commission was established in 2000 to monitor aspects of China’s behavior after Congress voted to admit it to the World Trade Organization (the WTO), including TRIPS. USCC tracka and advisea Congress on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and China.

USCC Chairman Larry Wortzel made a statement at the release of the Annual Report:
"China has demonstrated that it understands many of its obligations to the 149 other members of the World Trade Organization. China has made considerable progress in writing the internal legislation and regulations to comply with the agreements it made nearly five years ago to join the WTO. But China is falling short on its implementation of those new laws and regulations and is failing to adequately enforce laws already on its books. One glaring example: China's obligation under the WTO to combat the illegal piracy of intellectual property. China has fallen woefully short of complying with international rules that protect intellectual property."

Vice Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew added in the following statement: "On the trade front, China has failed to fulfull many of the obligations on internal market-oriented reforms it made when it joined the WTO. Rampant piracy of intellectual property, for example, continues across the country. Entire towns can depend on the revenue generated by counterfeiting. The Chinese government has failed to control such violations and typically prefers administrative fines rather than the more effective avenue of criminal prosecutions. Yet during the Commission's trip to China last June, amid the excuses from Chinese authorities about their inability to control counterfeiting, a stark contradiction presented itself: Chinese authorities had somehow managed to prevent any counterfeiting of the 2008 Beijing Olympic logos."

Update the Annual Report itself can be found here.

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