China pacts on piracy

Country to work closely with Washington

In the wake of U.S. piracy complaints to the WTO, customs officials in China have pacted with Washington to deepen their relationship to help fight piracy.

Customs officers will regularly share information about seizures of pirated goods and encourage more exchanges to better combat infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR), said a top Chinese official.

To help select better targets for IPR enforcement and evaluate achievements, Chinese and U.S. customs officials will exchange data on the number of seizures, quantity and value of goods, transportation type and the main ports of transit used, Mu Xinsheng, minister of the General Administration of Customs, told the China Daily.

China is trying hard to improve its image as a piracy buster these days. Beijing was badly stung by Washington’s decision in April to file two trade cases against China in the World Trade Organization, saying it is not tough enough on piracy.

Under a memorandum signed with the U.S. on strengthening efforts to fight cross-border piracy, Mu said customs officers would also visit each other’s ports and compare notes on catching pirates.

Mu said piracy and counterfeiting are global problems that no country can solve on its own. “Instead of criticism and confrontation, communication and cooperation are better ways to resolve disputes,” he said.

Chinese customs officials uncovered 2,473 IPR infringement cases last year –double the number from 2005 — seizing more than 200 million pirated or counterfeit goods.

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