Responding to U.S. pleas, Chinese officials agreed Monday to prosecute more people accused of product piracy and to review proposed rules that may curtail the Chinese government’s purchases of American software, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said.
Washington has been pushing China for years to stamp out a thriving industry in pirated goods that it says costs legitimate Chinese and foreign producers billions of dollars a year in lost potential sales. Illegal copies of goods ranging from the latest Hollywood movies to Japanese pop music and European designer fashions are widely available in Chinese shops despite repeated promises to crack down.
At a news conference after one-day trade talks, Gutierrez said Chinese officials had agreed to file criminal charges against more people accused of the rampant copying of movies and other intellectual property.
He added that China would station a diplomat in its Washington embassy to handle product piracy complaints. He said the two governments agreed to set up a joint committee to deal with cross-border violations.
Gutierrez said Chinese negotiators agreed to rewrite rules that required government offices to buy only Chinese-made software, possibly shutting out foreign suppliers from a market that Gutierrez said could be worth up to $8 billion a year.