July 22, 2005

Bush creates new post to battle global piracy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has created a new
senior level position to fight global piracy and counterfeiting
that cost American companies billions of dollars in lost sales
each year, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said on Friday.

"Intellectual property theft is a major problem around the
world. We believe that it is costing U.S. businesses about $250
billion in lost sales," Gutierrez told Reuters in an interview
with reporters and editors.

Bush has tapped Chris Israel, currently deputy chief of
staff for Gutierrez, to head up the administration's
anti-piracy efforts. China -- where 90 percent of music and
movies are pirate copies -- will be a chief priority area,
Gutierrez said.

"Frankly, our goal is (to reduce China piracy levels) to
zero," Gutierrez said. He refused to set a specific time frame
for how quickly the United States expected that happen, but
acknowledged it could be a lengthy effort.