China, ‘Indigenous Innovation’ and Trade Protectionism

The International Trade Commission has begun two days of hearings today, announced in a news release, “EFFECT OF INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CHINA ON U.S. ECONOMY AND JOBS TO BE INVESTIGATED BY U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION.”

The AP previews the hearings in an article, “China bid to spur innovation raises trade tensions.” Writing about China’s new procurement proposals called “indigenous innovation,” AP reports:

U.S. companies argue that the rules are intended to force them to partner with Chinese companies and turn over technology and intellectual property to them. Doing so would qualify them to sell to Chinese government agencies.

But Pat Mears, director of international commercial affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers, said that given China’s poor record in protecting patents, copyrights and other intellectual property, most U.S. companies prefer to keep their most vital technologies — “the crown jewels” — outside China.

“This is another effort at forced technology transfer,” she said.

The NAM’s Shaun Donnelly is testifying today before the ITC.

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