When the shoe is on the other foot

by Lou on April 13, 2007

$3 billion in trade piracy is big business
China pirates copyright material such as movies, information technology, pharmaceuticals, software, consumer and industrial products, and books, and the US doesn’t like it very much. Losses to Chinese piracy are approximately $3 billion annually, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The US is contemplating filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China.
Will the US complain to the World Trade Organization?
The US will be on shaky ground if they do file a complaint with the Geneva based trade referees because of their refusal to comply with the WTO in the case brought and won by tiny Antigua. While the US doesn’t want Antigua to have access to online gaming activity from the US, they should realize that China is much more important. Follow the money; that gets congressional attention.

And are we on shaky ground if we do?
The Antigua issue continues to rise on congressional radar. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (pictured left), the ranking Republican member of the House Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote to the US Trade Representative http://www.antiguawto.com/LettertoUSTR.pdf asking about plans to resolve the issues of a favorable ruling for Antigua.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen noted, “…our failure to resolve this dispute may harm our credibility as we seek to press countries like China regarding their violations on a range of issues, including intellectual property protection, subsidies, and currency manipulation.” She then stated, “In the event the United States fails to reach a satisfactory resolution of the Antigua dispute, it could provide China with an argument to ignore a WTO decision favorable to the United States.”
Congressman Barney Frank will introduce a bill in the next two weeks to end the online gaming ban in the United States.

Rally ’round the flag…..
“I think a reconsideration among my colleagues is beginning. I want to get it undone. I plan to file legislation,” Frank said, although he also stated that he would not move forward with the bill until other lawmakers are on board. “The first thing is to plant the banner out there and see how many people rally around it.”

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