Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 1 News List

US trade envoy to examine IPR progress

By Tina Yuan  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Charles Freeman, assistant US trade representative for China affairs, is scheduled to meet officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs today, marking the first trade talks between the two countries since October 2002, a government official said yesterday.

"One of the purposes of Freeman's visit is to see how much progress Taiwan has made, especially in the area of intellectual property rights, following the US' announcement of its [revised] `Special 301' priority watch list in May," said Jack Lu (盧文祥), deputy director-general of the ministry's Intellectual Property Office.

For the fourth year in a row Taiwan has been listed in Washington's "Special 301" priority watch list, which monitors violations of intellectual property rights.

Freeman arrived in Taipei yesterday for a two-day visit in which he will meet with the government's new officials in charge of trade and economic affairs, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement. The institute is the de facto US embassy here.

"Freeman looks forward to working with Taiwan to resolve bilateral trade issues and hearing Taiwan's proposals on how best to resume the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks," the AIT said in a statement.

The Taiwan-US trade talks have stalled as a result of differences between the two sides on many vital issues including intellectual property rights, blocking progress toward talks for a free-trade agreement.

During today's meeting, the Intellectual Property Office plans to discuss some major developments in this country that have been brought about in response to the US watch list, Lu said.

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