Canada Joins U.S. Effort To Protect Intellectual Property Rights In China

Counterfeit goods, mostly from China, cost Canadians several billion dollars annually.

Canada has asked to participate as a third party in World Trade Organization consultations on China's enforcement of intellectual property rights, Trade Minister David Emerson said April 25. The U.S. initiated these consultations on April 9, 2007.

"We are seeking clarification from China on its intellectual property rights enforcement regime, given concerns expressed by Canadian industry," said Emerson. "Our goal is to resolve this issue through dialogue with the Chinese government and through cooperation with our trading partners."

Canada and the U.S will present their concerns to Chinese authorities and assess the latest steps taken by China to bring its intellectual property regime into compliance with its WTO obligations. If consultations do not alleviate U.S. and Canadian concerns that China's intellectual property regime does not comply with its WTO obligations, a WTO panel could be requested to adjudicate the issue, the minister said.

Canada exported 7.7 billion Canadian dollars (US$6.9 billion) in goods to China in 2006, and imported 34.5 billion Candian dollars (US$31 billion) worth of goods.

Counterfeit and pirated goods, mostly from China, are estimated by Canadian industry to impact the Canadian economy by several billion dollars annually.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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