US urges China to open markets, protect IPR

Beijing, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:30am hrs
Ahead of US President George W Bushs visit, Washington has asked China to act more responsibly by honouring its WTO commitment to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and removing trade barriers for foreign firms.

The United States welcomes Chinas economic growth, US trade representative, Rob Portman told reporters on Monday after meeting with senior Chinese officials including commerce minister Bo Xilai.

However, China also must recognise that such growth means that it must take on even more responsibility to the rules-based international economic system that has enabled that growth, Portman said.

China may have been meeting the very specific letter of the law but we would like to see more in terms of the spirit of the WTO, he said.

Portman urged China to open its economy further to foreign investment and US products, address limitations in market access that continue to hamper US companies seeking to participate in the Chinese market and act vigorously to address intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement.

Protect intellectual property rights (IPR), remove trade barriers for foreign firms
Open economy further to foreign investment and US products
IPR protection benefits Chinese companies as much as - if not more than - US companies, he said. While US firms suffer huge losses from ip piracy and counterfeiting and while this has a disproportionate impact on US knowledge-based exports, the losses faced by Chinese firms and by Chinese entrepreneurs and the Chinese economy are even greater, he said.