Trade Talks and a Market Access Mystery

Related entries: General, Risk & Law, Trading

China trade issues are troubling US and EU minds again. But at least our representatives are keeping themselves busy.

The EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has reminded Beijing that more needs to be done to protect (and enforce) intellectual property rights (IPR). Bo Xilai, minister of Commerce, agreed, but also added that he is not too happy about the EU’s protectionist measures against Chinese shoe exports. So much for that exchange of views!

The US has also been on the IPR case, and is considering more cases against China in the WTO. In particular there is the possibility of a case on copyright piracy being launched soon. Not surprising when looking at some of the ant-China rhetoric in the domestic US scene, including this, report:

    ”Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, called the U.S. Trade Representative’s office “a paper tiger” because it has not brought more WTO cases against Beijing.”

Other issues on the agenda related to market access for banking and insurance companies (for which a December 11 deadline has been given). In addition the 60-day consultation period on auto parts (see here) has passed, and more action can be expected.

China always has a trick or two in the wings in response to these things, but they are rarely religious in nature. However, the banning of The Da Vinci Code because of Catholic protests (or so they say) has upset a lot of people – especially the ones in Hollywood. Of course it may have more to do with local protectionism in a sector that only allows about 20 foreign movies a year to be screened. This may turn out to be a more interesting mystery than the film itself – which is still available to purchase (illegally) in alleys across China!

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