As trade gap between the United States and China widened, the countries appeared to be on collision course over intellectual property rights (IPR) with Washington accusing Beijing of counterfeiting American goods. China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) five years ago but has made very little progress in IPR protection, providing equitable market access, or transparency in internal subsidy mechanism.
Speaking at a US-China business forum, US Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Franklin Lavin warned that Washington may take the case to the WTO this year if there is no “further improvement” from China on IPR. Citing numerous complaints against Chinese companies and “rampant” piracy of US goods, Lavin said that IPR was the “single greatest set of issues” with China.
Beijing has made halted steps to control piracy. It has ordered all computers manufactured in or imported into China to be pre-loaded with only original versions of operating systems. It has ordered government agencies buying equipment to ensure that operating systems are preloaded. Washington says those issues are insufficient.
Chinese companies even
plagiarize Indian products to an extent where they even use the same name. However, politicians still caught in a time warp in India do not question or bring up these questions with Beijing. Of course, it is not evident that they do this in private.