China isn’t complying with WTO commitments, Intellectual Property Alliance official says

WASHINGTON — China has violated the World Trade Organization free trade regulations through rampant piracy and tight restrictions for foreign companies trying to access online markers, an official of the Intellectual Property Alliance said Wednesday.

Speaking at a public hearing sponsored by the office of the United States Trade Representative on China’s compliance with the WTO commitments, Kevin Rosenbaum, representing the International Intellectual Property Alliance, testified that rampant piracy such as unlicensed services and unauthorized camcording continues to hamper China’s market for legitimate content.

“China must do much more to tackle its growing piracy problems,” Rosenbaum said.

Since mid-September, the USTR has solicited written comments to assist in preparing an annual report to the Congress on China’s compliance with WTO free trade rules.

The WTO allowed China into the organization on Dec. 11, 2001, and China now is the world’s fastest-growing consumer market and second-largest importer of goods, according to data from the World Bank.

But Rosenbaum insisted that “China’s legal system is not adequate to these problems” of piracy.

Rosenbaum said China intends to tighten its online market access policy for foreign competition, he said, citing as that China has violated the WTO’s free trading regulation the fact that Chinese streaming media users are not allowed to access foreign websites like Google unless they set up Virtual Private Networks.

Jian Tan, an official of the China Chamber of International Commerce, said that China had fulfilled all of the WTO accession commitments.

Tan disagreed with the USTR’s Compliance Report of 2018 that said China was not in compliance with WTO commitments. He explained that some of the conclusions were based on “reports” or “news” that cannot be verified.

“It is irrelevant for the USTR to demonstrate that China has not complied with WTO rules in the compliance report,” Tan said.

The USTR will submit its new compliance report to Congress in February next year.