Following a study released this week by the U.S. International Trade Commission outlining the growing problem of piracy and intellectual property theft in China, several critics, including a number of U.S. Senators, have begun speaking out against the country's failure to adopt effective anti-counterfeiting regulations.
"China continually fails to protect and enforce American intellectual property rights and discriminates against American businesses," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement accompanying the ITC study. "Small steps and empty promises won't cut it when American jobs are on the line. This week's U.S. China trade talks are the perfect opportunity for China to make serious commitments to address these issues."
Unauthorized copying and IP theft of everything from software to clothing has spread like wildfire through China, impeding market share for importers and limiting foreign business viability in the market, particularly as the country begins to transition into an innovation-based economy.
The rampant infringements have provoked a group of 32 U.S. senators to sign a letter to Vice Premier Wang Qishan calling for adjustments to the country's new innovation policy that unfairly promotes Chinese industry or "forces technology transfers in exchange for market access," according to the Business Standard.
Earlier this month, China announced it is considering a massive five-year $1.5 trillion investment in innovation across seven select industries in an effort to further propel the nation into an information-based market. However, some maintain that the announcement is mere talk, as such an investment equates to roughly 5 percent of the country's GDP.