US sanctions loom in face of piracy
By LOUISE LUCAS
THE threat of US trade sanctions or quota cutbacks is looking increasingly likely as China continues to ignore abuses of intellectual property rights.
The US administration said China was continuing to take a lax attitude on three key areas of American concern in the trading relationship, despite a flurry of meetings in both Washington and Beijing and repeated warnings.
The key areas are intellectual property rights, transshipment of textiles and market access, which has already sparked one 301-style investigation.
US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said: ''It is up to China. We are not making significant progress so far.
''On intellectual property rights the laws have been passed, but they are just not being enforced.
''On transshipment, we still need a new bilateral textile agreement to ensure we won't have circumvention of goods in the future.'' He said failure to respect intellectual property rights had been the toughest to crack.
China has drawn up a comprehensive set of rules but neglected to implement them, leaving traders to carry on marketing pirated compact discs and other items.
Mr Kantor said the cost to the US would be greater if it did not act now to stamp out the flouting of intellectual copyright, such as on trademarks and films.
He said: ''We will take all the appropriate steps in this administration to enforce our trade laws in trade agreements, the same with China with Japan.
''This administration has made one thing clear, that it's a priority item.'' Mr Kantor said the US was both candid and forthright in laying out the cost to America of not righting its trade relations with the mainland.
China has until December 31 to meet American requirements, and the US has repeatedly promised tough action if it failed.