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US requests WTO mediation in copyright enforcement case against China

[JURIST] The United States has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] to establish a "dispute settlement panel" [press release] in its case against China for alleged lax enforcement of copyright and trademark violations [JURIST report; WTO backgrounder], the Office of the US Trade Representative [official website] announced Monday. The request came after the US and China failed to resolve their differences through bilateral consultations [WTO backgrounder] and will be considered by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body [WTO backgrounder] during its next session on August 31.

The case, filed in April, was denounced by Chinese officials [JURIST report] who warned that it would "seriously undermine the cooperative relations the two nations had established in the field." The US also has another case against China [WTO backgrounder] pending, which accuses the Chinese government of adopting "measures that restrict trading rights with respect to important films for theatrical release," audiovisual home entertainment products, and publications. In February, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab [official profile] announced a case [WTO backgrounder] against China for its practice of subsidizing enterprises that "purchase domestic over imported goods or [meet] certain export performance criteria." AFP has more.

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