US Falsely Claiming It 'Won' IP Fight With China

from the it-lost-badly dept

You may recall a few years ago that in the (still ongoing!) fight between Antigua and the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO), that the WTO came out with a ruling where the US declared immediate victory, though the details showed that actually the WTO had sided with Antigua. The US merely declared victory, and got its (wrong) story out to the press first.

It appears that's happening again.

Earlier this week, plenty of attention was paid to a WTO ruling concerning US disputes with China over a variety of intellectual property issues. The US Trade Representative quickly declared victory (pdf) and that's the story most of the folks in the press went with, claiming that this was a US victory where the WTO largely supported the US. Some even called it a major victory, while others were surprised that China seemingly was fine with the ruling.

Perhaps that's because if you actually read through the details, you realize, as Michael Geist points out, that the US actually lost very badly. There were three issues at stake -- and the only one the US "won" was the most minor of the three. On the two big issues, concerning China's border measures concerning counterfeit goods and its IP enforcement system within the country, the WTO sided strongly with China, and chastised the US for providing rather bogus "evidence" (often consisting of newspaper articles, rather than actual evidence) in support of its position. It seems like the only mainstream publication that actually bothered to read the report, rather than the USTR's "day is night" version of the events was Forbes, who notes that the USTR was being misleading in claiming victory. Of course, given how the US acted after it lost the Antigua case in the WTO, we can expect the US to appeal the ruling or... just ignore it and continue pretending the WTO actually ruled in its favor.
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Filed Under: china, us, us trade representative, wto
Companies: wto


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  1. identicon
    Doh-Boy, 27 Jan 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Re:

    "Doesn't matter who won, this is simple proof that people will believe everything they read..."

    I can't believe you said that.

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