May 19, 2011

China Piracy Costing Americans Jobs, Money

According to a new study, U.S. businesses could support about one million more jobs if China stopped intellectual property violations.

The U.S. International Trade Commission surveyed businesses and estimated that they lost about $48 billion in 2009 due to infringement of intellectual property rights by China.

The survey said if China raised its enforcement to U.S. levels, the businesses could increase employment by 923,000 jobs in the U.S.

The commission also said that up to 2.1 million jobs could be supported if China cracked down on rampant piracy in areas like software and movies.

Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that performed the study, said China's trade practices were costing the U.S. "billions of dollars and millions of jobs."

"We cannot pretend that there aren't real consequences to these violations when these numbers show that millions of American jobs are on the line," Baucus, a member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, said in a statement.

He said he hopes the Big Sky ski resort meeting in Montana, which trade officials from 21 Asia Pacific economies will meet at, would help "break down trade barriers and make it cheaper, faster and easier for US small businesses to export to these lucrative markets."

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said the study showed the need to seek protections of intellectual property when negotiating trade deals.

"China wants the benefits of an economic relationship with the United States but won't hold up its end of the bargain," the Iowa senator said in a statement.

The U.S. and China have been in debates for years over trade issues.

Vice Premier Wang Qishan rejected suggestions in Washington that China's growth came through artificial measures like devalued currency.

The U.S. said that China promised to improve protection of intellectual property rights and also avoid preferences for Chinese businesses in awarding contracts.

An official study in Beijing recently found that pirated software cost the domestic industry $20.1 billion in 2010.


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