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U.S. to Raise IPR Issues with China

The United States will continue to pressure China on strengthening its intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and adjusting some industrial policies during the bilateral talks, U.S. Trade representative Ronald Kirk said on Tuesday in Washington DC.

Washington's next step is to pressure Beijing on its IPR regime and better its industrial sector policies on areas like indigenous innovation, Kirk said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Experts say the appeal reflects the significant pressure on Obama to fulfill his commitment to enhance U.S. exports, but that simply blaming China's IPR regime is not the solution.

"Obama promised to double U.S. exports within five years in his State of Union address delivered early this year, which is the reason that the U.S. is now attaching importance to China's IPR protection," Niu Xinchun, an expert on U.S. studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said.

"However, they may have missed the real problem, " said Jiang Zhipei, vice-president of the IPR association of the China Law Society.

"The U.S. should abandon its cold-war mentality and loosen its export policies, instead of solely pressuring China," he said.

"Innovation is a necessary path of development for all countries and the U.S. has huge technological advantages. To really benefit all, it should examine itself and be more open," Jiang said.

Next week, Kirk will head to China for this year's Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, chaired by Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner.

"The S&ED is an important forum to discuss macroeconomic issues and security issues. But it is also a staging ground for the more granular issues on which Commerce Secretary Locke and I will seek action at the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade," he said.

Many companies have highlighted China's recent measures to support "indigenous innovation", which is also a major concern related to industrial policy. Relative government departments have made it clear that indigenous innovation serves the interests of both the U.S. and China, and innovation is no excuse for discrimination, he said.

Jiang agreed with Kirk on the point, while saying "as a matter of fact, it is foreign corporations that often benefit from more preferential policies in China, than indigenous ones."

"China is making a consistent effort to establish a fair regime pursuing the doctrine of national treatment, which means every market participant, regardless of their nationality, should be treated equally," Jiang added.

Kirk said although China has already made efforts to address U.S. concerns, both sides need to work out more win-win trade policies.

"We appreciate efforts China's government has made to address our concerns, but we have urged them to refrain from further steps down this path. Instead, we need to sit down and talk about how to foster real innovation to benefit us all, " he added.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke expressed the same concerns recently during an interview with China Daily, saying the U.S. is concerned about China's increasing use of industrial policies that may restrict market access and discriminate against foreign goods and services.

"China has made incredible progress on the IPR regime during the short period of less than 30 years," Jiang said, but "flaws do still exist, and the best way to find solutions is to intensify the dialogue and enhance mutual understanding."

Premier Wen Jiabao reassured foreign companies last month that they will not face discrimination in the country as the government will "unswervingly" continue its push to open up and thereby facilitate foreign investment.

"The policy of encouraging indigenous innovation treats all businesses in China the same. It will not exclude foreign companies," Wen said.Source:Xinhua