China must do more to protect intellectual property rights and level the playing field for American companies in its domestic market, U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Karan Bhatia said June 1.
"We have a complex relationship with China," said Bhatia, noting both benefits and "irritants".
"Those include, first of all, intellectual property rights, which we see as being almost a market access issue for us given that our economy and our exporters are often heavily in knowledge-based industries," he said. "It's very difficult for exporters to compete in an environment where intellectual property rights are not enforced and are not respected."
China had "done some good things ... but there is a lot more to be done," Bhatia said, speaking on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers' meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.
"There is this perception that China's economy continues to function in a less than rational way in some areas, with subsidies and governmental policies that serve to distort competition," he told a media briefing. These forms of government support from Beijing, he said, "effectively preclude American and other foreign companies from competing on a level playing field with Chinese companies. This is a source of concern."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006