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US Urges China to Improve Market Access, Tackle Copyright Piracy


During trade talks in Beijing, the United States has urged China to provide larger market access for U.S. businesses and to deliver on promised anti-piracy measures, saying illegal copying costs U.S. companies billions of dollars a year.

During the annual meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, U.S. officials praised China's economic development, but said U.S. businesses should be given more access to Chinese markets.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez led the U.S. delegation to the one-day talks, which also included discussions on protection of intellectual property rights and the ongoing dispute over Chinese textile exports.

Speaking in Beijing, Mr. Gutierrez said although progress had been made in gaining U.S. companies access to the $8 billion a year Chinese software market, much more needs to be done.

"China has full access to the U.S. market. American Companies simply want the same access in China," he said.

Mr. Gutierrez also welcomed Chinese promises to file more criminal charges against violators of intellectual property rights, but stressed the United States wants to see significant results.

Vice-minister Li Dongsheng, of China's administration of industry and commerce, rejects criticism that China is not doing enough to enforce anti-piracy laws.

"The amount of applications for trademark protection in China and the substantial increase from foreign countries fully illustrate that China's system of trademark laws is sound, that these special rights protections are strong, and that foreign businesses have confidence in China's market environment," said Li Dongsheng.

Mr. Li also says fighting piracy is a process and China cannot be expected to reach the same level of enforcement as western nations overnight.

China had said its delegation leader to the talks, Vice Premier Wu Yi, would press the United States about its restrictions on Chinese textiles imports, which surged this year after a global quota system was abolished in January.

Mr. Gutierrez gave no indication that Washington intended to change its policy on textiles, but said the two sides had agreed to continue consultations.

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