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China Agrees to Significant Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Initiatives

China Agrees to Significant Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Initiatives

This press release titled, “China Agrees to Significant Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Initiatives, Market Opening, and Revisions to its Indigenous Innovation Policies That Will Help Boost U.S. Exports at the 21st Session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade” provides a vivid account of the proceedings carried out through the 21st session of the JCCT, primarily facilitating brighter prospects for American enterprises in China. However, what were the specific progresses registered from the perspective of the officials who attended the session?

The 21st session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) between China and the United States ended on the 15th of December 2010. It was jointed chaired by Gary Locke, the United States Secretary of Commerce and Ron Kirk, the Trade representative of the United States. Additionally, the session was attended by Wang Oishan, the Vice-Premier of China and Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States. The outcome of the session will ensure a more competitive positioning for American businesses in the Chinese markets, improving the prospects of American jobs and exports and the market accessibility of American businesses, farmers, business entrepreneurs, innovators, ranchers and creators who are keen on exploiting business opportunities in China.

China agreed to certain strategic moves which included taking initiatives for clean energy, government procurement, enforcement of IPRs, maintaining neutral and transparent standards for technology. Specifically related to indigenous innovation, China has consented not to impose discrimination towards government procurement on the basis of the origins of IP or to select industrialized goods by using discriminatory criteria. China also relented on fresh talks pertaining to the access of beef markets. According to Locke, the session was a truly fruitful one where progress was registered on several vital issues.

Ron Kirk observed that China has in fact agreed to certain vital commitments pertaining to IPRs that will in turn shield American jobs. The commitments were reportedly based upon the special campaign mobilized by China against piracy and counterfeiting. These vital commitments would subsequently protect American innovations and creative projects that have been based in China. According to Kirk, the commitments must essentially give way to concrete outcomes in the near future. Progress must be registered in the enhanced procurement and usage of legal software, crafting of more stringent rules for controlling internet piracy, undertaking concrete measures to abolish electronic journal piracy and confiscating spaces that have been rented to counterfeiters.

According to the assessments of Kirk, the decision of the Chinese Government of not discriminating intellectual properties on the basis of their place of origin while deciding on government procurements has been heralded as a major positive for American businesses. Entrepreneurs and innovators of American origin can now create more of jobs and continue to sell their products to the Chinese Government without having to worry about unfair blockages in business proceedings. Furthermore, Kirk also emphasized that China has committed to speedy accession of the Government Procurement Agreement propounded by the WTO. According to him, Chinese authorities have also agreed to the work along with local and provincial governments for submitting a revised offer statement for coverage in the coming year.

Gary Locke further spoke about China’s commitment for revising the major equipment catalogue, covering industrial equipments and heavy machinery and also for refraining from discrimination against outsider suppliers or for providing prohibitive subsidies. He also expressed his pleasure on account of China’s pledge for adhering to transparency, non-discrimination, openness with respect to its smart grid market worth $600 billion. At the same time, China’s commitment towards maintaining neutrality for future technologies, such as 3G will also help American enterprises to access better opportunities in the telecommunications markets, according to Locke.

From the perspective of the US agriculture secretary, Vilsack, the session was particularly effective in terms of the progress made for settling disputes on the beef access issue. He also claimed that the technical talks will restart soon and would lead to the reopening on the Chinese markets in the first few months of 2011. He went on to say, that these significant moves by China would be crucial in improving business prospects of American farmers and ranchers too.

Additionally, a set of seven brand new agreements were signed between China and the United States pertaining to investment promotions, exports, statistics, agricultural collaboration and export of soybeans. The Operating Framework Agreement was also signed by the United States Trade Development Agency. This commemorates the 10th year of its program in China along with the Integrated Real Time Water Monitoring System Feasibility Study and Pilot Project along with grants towards the State Grid and Smart Grid standards.

Established over 18 years ago, the JCCT remains the prime forum that is utilized for addressing issues related bilateral trade and promotion of commercial opportunities between China and the United States.

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The New Asia Innovation Team