What the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) office describes as "epidemic levels of counterfeiting and piracy in China" that "cause serious economic harm to U.S. businesses in virtually every sector of the economy" tops its list of foreign trade barriers. USTR released the 2005 inventory of foreign trade barriers on March 30.
Also cited are Japan's failure to re-open its market to U.S. beef and beef products and Mexico's imposition of a 20% tax on beverages and syrups made with sweeteners other than cane sugar. Japan banned the import of U.S. beef following the late-2003 discovery of one case of "mad-cow" disease in the U.S. in an imported animal. Unable to resolve differences over the beverage tax, the U.S. has filed a case against Mexico with the World Trade Organization.
Separately, acting U.S. Trade Representative Peter F. Allgeier, is "deeply concerned" about the "tepid commitment" several foreign countries have made to opening up their telecommunications markets to U.S. companies. China, India and Japan are among the nations he is specifically criticizing in the wake of his office's latest annual analysis of telecommunications trade agreements, known formally as a Section 1377 Review.