Aside from this, counterfeiting also hurts the tax payers as these products are always “safe” from taxation. Because of this, less money is allocated for expenditure on government services such as roads, hospitals, schools and other public services in a given community. In New York City alone, Joiner (15) reports that about one billion dollars a year are lost in tax revenue due to the problem of counterfeiting and piracy.
The external pushes coming from the United States of America, and the threats they pose forced the Chinese government to establish a new intellectual property regime where an institutional infrastructure has been established to ensure the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The citizens of China also acquired a better understanding and awareness of these rights. As a result, intellectual property became one of the facets the Sino-U. S. bilateral trade agenda, as the leaders of the People’s Republic of China became more interested in the implementation of the intellectual property law reforms, Yu (1) explains.
Ever since the mid 1990s, the Chinese authorities, according to Yu (1) have been playing a cat and mouse game with the pirates and counterfeiters of China. From time to time, the authorities are launching large-scale crackdowns on the different products which had been subject to counterfeiting. Yu (1) cites the November 2000 incident when the Chinese government launched an anti-counterfeiting campaign which, in a few months after, was followed by a major crackdown on counterfeit products that may pose a threat to the health and safety of the citizens.
This included food, drugs, medical supplies and agricultural products. In 2002, the Communist leaders came up with a new anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy campaign which then resulted to the confiscation of infringed products. In the same manner, the Chinese leaders through their speeches and position papers give emphasis to the importance of intellectual property as a part of their economic strategy. In line with this, books, television talk shows, media articles and government and academic reports came out, proving the importance of the protection of IPR to the economic development of the nation (Yu 1).
Vice Premier Wu Yi committed China to an action plan to improve IPR enforcement at the JCCT meetings in April 2004 (Brilliant & Waterman 7). However, neither the two parties involved released the details concerning this plan although a press statement said that it was during these meeting that China finally committed to reduce IPR infringement levels in their country. They also vowed to increase penalties for the violators of IPR and to widen the sanctionable activities that could be subject to criminal penalties.
It was also in this meeting that the People’s Republic of China promised to apply criminal sanctions for the import, export, storage, and distribution of pirated and counterfeit products. They also promised to give special attention to piracy happening online and finally, to continue a national campaign which aims to educate their citizens about the importance and benefits that they would receive once they remain committed to the protection of intellectual property rights.
During these meetings, the Vice Premier also said that China would start ratifying and implementing the Internet Treaties that the World Intellectual Property Organization is putting forward (Brilliant & Waterman 7). Without a doubt, China has still a long way to go. There are issues needed to be solved that could greatly foster economic growth upon its solution. In the next few years, more IPR violations is expected of China if it does not change its ways and begin imposing administrative actions upon the violators of the intellectual property rights.
There is a future for the People’s Republic of China and its battle against piracy and copyright infringement. This is due to the actions that the country is taking to ensure that IPR is properly protected.
co. uk. Nike Compensated over China fakes. N. d. <http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/business/6956276. stm> Borciani, C. Will the 2008 Olympics Clean China’s Counterfeiting Problems? December 12, 2007. 18 April 2008. < http://www. intertechpira. com/blog. asp? step=3&blogID=256> Brilliant, M. A. , and Waterman, J. China’s WTO Implementation: A Three Year Assessment. US: US Chamber of Commerce, 2004.