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U.S. and China Agree
on Intellectual Property Issues

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Lengthy trade negotiations and a threat of economic sanctions have paid off. China has agreed to steps aimed at clamping down on copyright violations of American-made music, films, and computer software. China and the United States had been at loggerheads about China's failure to enforce clauses in their 1995 trade agreement concerning intellectual property rights. As a result, the U.S. was prepared to impose punitive tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports had the issue not been resolved last week.

The news of the agreement was particularly welcomed by American entertainment and software companies. Microsoft, for example, announced intentions to expand its marketing in China, which company planners see as the biggest potential market for personal computers.

By one estimate, almost 90 percent of all compact disks produced in China last year were pirated. Much of the illegal industry is carried on by small companies that are scattered around the country and therefore hard for the Chinese government to control. However, China has begun to close down factories involved in intellectual piracy, and American officials are hopeful that the Chinese will make further progress toward enforcing their part of the agreement.

For More Information

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The McKinley Magellan Internet Guide recommends a number of sites for keeping up with news about China as well as news from the business world. In the latter category, see, for example, the online Business Times of Singapore, a 4-star site.

Posted June, 1996.
© Copyright 1996 OBS