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Bill Radke: The United States has defeated China in a major ruling from the World Trade Organization. The dispute was about recorded media from DVDs to music downloads and books. Joining us live is a former U.S. trade representative for China, Charles Freeman. Good morning.
Charles Freeman: Good morning.
Radke: Could you briefly summarize the ruling for us.
Freeman: Well briefly, when China joined the WTO it agreed that it would allow all products to be imported at will by anybody that wanted to import them into China, and they’ve made an exception over the years for these kind of recorded media. And the WTO effectively reversed that exception, making these effectively normal products that anybody can bring into China.
Radke: And what does that mean? How big a deal is this for U.S. media producers?
Freeman: It could be quite significant. And one of the big complaints that media producers have made, given the huge number of pirated copies of films and DVDs and recorded media that exist already, it’s difficult to get real product in there. And this gives them a fighting chance.
Radke: And in just a few seconds Charles, is this just about media, or is there a wider precedent here?
Freeman: Well it’s mostly about media, but it also sets a precedent that the cultural gurus in China don’t have full sway over censorship and the rest of things.
Radke: Charles Freeman, former U.S. trade representative for China. He’s now chair for China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Thanks for making the time.
Freeman: No worries.
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