The United States Issued The (Special 301 Report) And China Continued To Be Included In The Priority Watch List


File photo: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington.
File photo: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington.


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) continued to place China on its priority watch list in its Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement, published on Wednesday (April 27), due to concerns over patents, copyrights, and patents issued by China last year. and the effectiveness of the Penal Code Amendment. The U.S. is closely monitoring China’s progress in implementing the Phase 1 trade deal between the U.S. and China, the report said. Russia is also on the priority watch list, while oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are no longer on the watch list.

The USTR keeps region China on its precedence watch listing in its annual (Special 301) research of the highbrow belongings safety of its buying and selling partners.

In 2021, China enacted revised versions of its patent law, copyright law, and criminal law, as well as other measures aimed at addressing intellectual property protection and enforcement, the report said. While intellectual property holders in the United States welcomed these developments, they "continue to express concerns about the adequacy of these measures and their effective implementation, as well as long-standing issues such as malicious trademarks, counterfeiting, and online piracy."

In addition, USTR expressed concern over statements by Chinese officials emphasizing the importance of intellectual property rights to China’s efforts to gain market dominance in certain industries and that courts should serve the Chinese Communist Party and China’s industrial goals.

"Taken together, these statements are reminiscent of long-standing concerns about requiring and pressuring foreign individuals or companies to transfer technology to Chinese companies and whether intellectual property protection and enforcement will apply equitably to foreign rights holders in China," the report said.

"The U.S. urges trading partners, including China, to refrain from forced technology transfer and preference for the indigenous intellectual property when developing policies to promote innovation, and to take into account the importance of voluntary and mutually agreed business partnerships or arrangements," the report said. 

U.S. concerns over intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of U.S. technology for Chinese competitors to gain market access is at the heart of the Trump administration's 'Section 301' tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports, which the Biden administration currently reserves these tariffs.

The report said the United States is closely monitoring China's progress in fulfilling its commitments under the U.S.-China economic and trade agreement.

In January 2020, the Trump administration and China signed an economic and trade agreement commonly referred to as the "Phase One Agreement." Under the agreement, China committed to improving market access in agriculture and financial services and made commitments related to intellectual property and technology transfer. China has also pledged to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in the 2022 National Trade Review released on March 31 that while China has fulfilled some of the terms of the Phase 1 deal, it has yet to fulfill some of its more important commitments, and It is far from fulfilling its promise to buy U.S. goods and services in 2020 and 2021.

The Special 301 Report is an annual review of the state of intellectual property protection and enforcement worldwide. USTR conducted this review under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competition Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round of Agreements Act.

Unlike previous years, the U.S. has suspended a review of Ukraine's intellectual property practices because of Russia's war on Ukraine. Ukraine has also previously been placed on the U.S. priority watch list due to the use of unlicensed software by government agencies, a lack of effective means to combat widespread online copyright infringement, and concerns over the collection of royalties.

Russia, like China, has also been placed on a priority watch list. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was excluded from the priority watch list for improvements in intellectual property protection. Countries such as Kuwait are also no longer on the watch list.

Governments must make a choice: Either support giving individuals with new ideas a fair chance to succeed, the US Chamber of Commerce said after the Office of the Trade Representative released its 2022 Special Section 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement. the system, or remove intellectual property protection, leading to less innovation, choice, and economic prosperity.

“Business and government have a responsibility to champion an intellectual property (IP) agenda that promotes innovation and creativity worldwide. While the global IP environment has improved over the last decade, the Special 301 Report shows that many nations still have far to go in providing and protecting intellectual property rights.

“Businesses and governments have a responsibility to advocate for an intellectual property agenda that promotes global innovation and creativity. While the global intellectual property environment has improved over the past decade, the Special 301 Report shows that many countries still have a long way to go in providing and protecting intellectual property,” said Senior Vice President, Center for Global Innovation Policy, US Chamber of Commerce Patrick Kilbride said in a statement.

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