U.S. Trade Reps adds country to Watch List

U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab wants to spotlight some bad Czechs.

After reviewing the state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement in the Czech Republic, the USTR decided to add the country to the so-called 301 Watch List, which identifies countries where high degrees of bootlegging exist.

“We remain concerned at the continuing lack of effective enforcement measures against traders openly selling pirated and counterfeit goods in the notorious border markets,” Schwab said in a statement about the situation in the Czech Republic. “Intellectual property rights are critical to the continued growth of our economy, and we will vigorously press our trading partners to follow and enforce the rules to protect American creativity, innovation and technology.”

Neil Turkewitz, exec VP for international at the Recording Industry Assn. of America, praised the move, saying in a statement, “The government of the Czech Republic has thus far failed to rein in the blatant lawlessness exhibited at its many border markets. These markets openly sell pirate and counterfeit materials with little interference from the state. We hope that this special 301 announcement will serve as a wake-up call that these illegal practices can no longer be tolerated.”

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