US Vs. China Round III at WTO?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 3/01/2007 12:48:00 AM
The cacophony of trade saber-rattling sounds is still growing between the US and China. The US has already entered the judicial stage in a case regarding access to the Chinese auto parts market for American manufactures (DS 340). The US is also currently engaged in bilateral negotiations with China over alleged Chinese subsidies which too may lead to adjudication if a deal is not soon reached between these two parties (DS 358).

While these cases are still pending, the US has made overtures suggesting that it may take its longstanding grievances over Chinese software piracy to the WTO as well. The US claims that talks with China have produced little action on intellectual property theft, while apparatchiks argue that the task of policing China for IP violations is a huge task that needs time to bear fruit. Nevertheless, the US says that despite five months having passed since these countries began talks over the issue, China has done little. A large contingent has been sent by the US to various Chinese provinces to assess the extent of piracy there. With election season 2008 heating up, China is a natural target with its $232.5B bilateral trade surplus with the US. Whether it's auto parts, capital equipment, or software, grievances by American industry are more likely to be heard now than in the recent past. The International Intellectual Property Alliance and the Business Software Alliance are definitely seeing Red(s). Unless China takes more visible commitments to enforcing IP laws, don't bet against another WTO filing before the end of H1 2007.