Picking another fight with China

Scott Tong Apr 9, 2007
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Picking another fight with China

Scott Tong Apr 9, 2007
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: More China bashing is on the way from Washington. Any day now the White House is expected to file a pair of complaints: one about piracy and counterfeits another about how Beijing doesn’t do enough to fight it. From our Shanghai bureau, Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports.


SCOTT TONG: The WTO cases will argue China’s too easy on counterfeiters, especially the folks who sell bootleg DVDs here for 75 cents.

Attorney Lester Ross represents multinationals in China. He says the problem is, there aren’t enough legal films to start out with. China allows in just 20 foreign movies per year. Everything else, by definition, is illegal.

LESTER ROSS: You’re just creating a market essentially for pirated goods, by barring the sale of legitimate goods.

Another complaint is that Chinese laws against piracy are too weak, its fines too low.

This is the third trade fight Washington’s picked with China in two months. Law professor Tu Xin Quan thinks Beijing has to respond in order to avoid more penalties and sanctions.

TUX IN QUAN: Although the Chinese government is dissatisfied with the criticism from Washington, it still has to do something to make visible progress.

Indeed, Chinese law now makes it easier to prosecute counterfeiting as a serious crime.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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