from the good-for-them dept
Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It's driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.And we've wondered why other countries do not do the same. When I was in Spain last week, a reporter I spoke to kept asking about the Special 301 list, as it seemed to be such a key concern for people there, and I noted that more countries should do what Canada does. I realize that there are other issues there, and Canada knows that the US isn't likely to create a trade war over the list, but it still seemed odd how seriously some other countries take the list.
That's why it's good to see at least one more country follow Canada's lead. Chile, which is on the "priority watch list," has officially announced that it, too, does not recognize the legitimacy of the list (translated):
The Chilean government said today it does not recognize as a valid instrument rating called "301 list" that makes the United States on violation of intellectual property rights and this year again includes the country in its Priority Watch section .Good for Chile to stand up for itself against the list.
"This report is conducted outside the margins of the Free Trade Agreement between our country and the U.S., and therefore not recognized by Chile as a valid instrument rating," said a statement released this morning.
The "'301 List' lacks clear criteria for categorizing the different countries, but is rather a reflection of the interests of American industry selectively applying their intellectual property standards to other countries," it added.
Of course, it's no surprise that Chile got put on the list. As we noted last year, the country is actually a pioneer in strongly protecting intermediaries from liability, thus much more strongly protecting internet free expression and innovation. They're also actively encouraging innovation by luring startups to Chile with all sorts of benefits. Basically, Chile is quickly showing itself to be a supporter of innovation, which apparently isn't something the USTR wants to encourage.