US’ intellectual property probe ‘irresponsible’: PRC

Reuters, BEIJING

Tue, Aug 22, 2017 - Page 1

China yesterday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the US launch of an investigation into China’s alleged theft of US intellectual property rights (IPR), calling it “irresponsible.”

The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally announced the investigation on Friday, following a call from US President Donald Trump earlier in the week to determine whether a probe was needed.

The investigation is the US administration’s first direct measure against Chinese trade practices, which the White House and US business groups say are damaging US industry.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the move sent the wrong signal to the world and would be condemned by the international community.

“The United States’ disregard of World Trade Organization rules and use of domestic law to initiate a trade investigation against China is irresponsible, and its criticism of China is not objective,” an unnamed ministry spokesman said.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction with the United States’ unilateral protectionist action. We urge the US side to respect the facts, ... respect multilateral principles and act prudently,” the official said, adding that Beijing would take “all appropriate measures and resolutely defend China’s lawful interests.”

The US should instead work with China to find consensus and promote healthy trade relations, the ministry said.

China’s policy of forcing foreign companies to turn over technology to Chinese joint venture partners and its failure to crack down on intellectual property theft have been longstanding problems for several US administrations.