U.S. Using WTO To Press China On Intellectual Property Protection

Next to alleging China has deliberately undervalued its currency to their detriment, U.S. manufacturers have most loudly complained about China not properly providing protection for their patents and other kinds of intellectual property. The U.S. announced on Oct. 26 that it-along with Japan and Switzerland-will be pursuing the issue with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Specifically the U.S. is beginning a process aimed at getting information on China's intellectual property enforcement efforts. "Our goal is to get detailed information [relating to piracy and counterfeiting] that will help pinpoint exactly where the enforcement system is breaking down so we can decide appropriate next steps," says Rob Portman, the U.S. Trade Representative. "If China believes that it is doing enough to protect intellectual property, then it should view this process as a chance to prove its case," he says.

The U.S. anticipates a Chinese response in about three months.

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