Briefing paper

The recent trade war between the United States and China brought attention to the linkage between copyright protection and trade negotiations. In April 2018, the US government released a report claiming that China fails to offer sufficient protection for intellectual property (IP) rights. Among other things, the United States criticized China for its failure to “address major gaps in copyright protection.” Claiming that Chinese IP practices have destroyed “thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,” US President Donald Trump “announced approximately $50 billion in additional tariffs.” China immediately reacted with retaliatory measures and the two countries entered a tit-for-tat trade war. The only way out of this escalation appears to be a bilateral trade deal in which China makes additional IP commitments and the United States abandons its unilateral trade sanctions.

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CIGI Policy Brief no. 149