The US may file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation against China unless authorities ‘dramatically reduce’ violations of intellectual property, a US trade official said after three days of talks in Beijing.
‘‘If we were to conclude that the dispute settlement is the best solution in dealing with China, we will not shy away,’’ said James Mendenhall, general counsel of the Office of the US Trade Representative, during a lunch hosted by the US business community in Beijing on Friday.
Companies such as Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, and Cisco Systems Inc. say they’re losing $250 billion a year and the main culprit is China. About 90% of software used in China is pirated, according to researcher IDC and the Business Software Alliance, a trade group funded by Microsoft.
Chinese companies also copy products from Procter & Gamble Co. shampoo to Pfizer Inc. drugs. Mendenhall, in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials on piracy and other issues, asked US businesses operating in China to provide more detailed evidence to his office so that the U.S. can file an official complaint to the WTO. ‘‘You need to understand what is going on,’’ he said. ‘‘You need to arm us with the facts.’’
Representatives of US movie, publishing, software and recording industries said in a filing to the US trade office on Feb. 13 that illegal reproduction of their goods in China accounted for a loss of $2.4 billion last year.