USTR, IP and US-China Trade

On October 4 2021, USTR Katherine Tai delivered her much-awaited speech at CSIS outlining US-China trade policy under the Biden Administration. The speech summarizes her “top to bottom” review of US-China trade policy. Sadly, it was one of the most IP-free speeches that we have heard from USTR on China trade policies. USTR Tai mentioned intellectual property only once when she briefly talked about the Phase 1 Agreement. An Administration orientation towards increasing market access for grains and goods, but not protection and commercialization of intangible rights, could have long-term adverse consequences.

China Responds to EU Article 63 Request

On September 7, 2020, China responded to the EU Article 63 request. The one-page Chinese response repeats the position taken by China in 2006, that Article 63 only affords an opportunity for a member to make a transparency request of another member.  As China notes in its response, “there is no such obligation under the TRIPS Agreement for China to respond.” This position repeats the position taken by China that “the TRIPS Agreement only refers to a Member’s right to request information, but there is no mention of a corresponding obligation of the requested Member to actually follow the request.” (Para. 8, P/C/W/465, Jan. 23, 2006). As this prior Article 63 response appears to be the template for some elements of the current response, I have inserted it below. The Chinese responses might be understood as rejecting a teleological interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement to effectuate its purposes, or one based on the good faith of the parties, as it is difficult to conceive of the reason for a treaty provision that offers an opportunity to make an inquiry of another country, but does not require that country to respond. The response also ignores the significant developments in case law in China in recent years.