Cracking Down on IP theft could increase investment in China – Clete Willems

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A former trade official of the White House announced that if Beijing cracks down strictly on intelligence property thefts, it would not only speed up the U.S. economy but it would be good for China, too.

U.S.-China trade deal phase one

Making steps towards protecting trade secrets of foreign businesses running in the world’s second-largest economy was part of the “phase one” trade deal that President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday.

“To me, the most vital part of this deal was that the United States was succeeded to gain on intellectual property,” Clete Willems, a cooperate associate at law firm Akin Group, told CNBC this Thursday.
Trade secrets theft has been a persistent concern for the U.S. businesses, and businesses all around the world,” Williams added to his talk.

Formerly a deputy director of the National Economic Council, Clete Willems also served as the head trade negotiator for the U.S. at multilateral summits such as G-7 and G-20.
He explained that the recently signed trade agreement between China and the U.S. would make a clear difference in protecting intellectual property for companies doing business in China.
Willems described that if a business makes a violation of the privacy of intellectual property, it has to bear criminal penalties. It’s going to have due process for the judicial proceedings. It’s going to submit penalties larger than they did in the past. But there remain some provisions regarding pharmaceuticals patents and counterfeit items in the trade pact, Williams added while explaining the impact of U.S.-China trade deal.

Wednesday’s agreement is a move towards rooting out various practices performed by Beijing that has uptight the White House and members of Congress from both parties, including intellectual property theft and forced technology handovers from the U.S. companies in exchange for market access in China.

The deal needs Beijing to submit an “Action Plan to strengthen intellectual property protection” within 30 days of the signing taking effect. The proposal would encircle “measures that China will carry out in order to fulfill its obligations” and “the date by which each measure will move into effect.”

China Agrees to Purchase $200 Billion of US exports

U.S.-China trade deal

Part of the U.S.-China trade deal signed on Jan. 15th also details a $200 billion rise in Beijing’s buying of the U.S. goods over two years as well as assurance from Beijing to allow companies to work without “any force or pressure” to transfer their technology – that, along with trade secrets protection provisions.
It likely to have ramifications for the United States’ tech sector, where companies want access to the Chinese market but are also worried over how government officials can access private data stored there.

“If you put it all together, it is going to be a big boost for economy of the U.S. I will reach to the point, this is going for China,” Clete Willems said, and added, “This really will help those in China that want to transform their system, want to style it more market-oriented and empower them to move down that path.”

Ultimately, “better intellectual property protection will see a boost in investment in China,” Willems described.

Still, some experts are sharing concerns over how the U.S. would ensure China keeps up with its commitments. Willems suggested that the promise of further reduction in the U.S. tariffs in the second phase of the trade deal would possibly be an incentive for Beijing to “faithfully implement this agreement.”
One more option for Washington would be to convince allies to work with the U.S. to administer the agreement in a multilateral system to make it more sustainable and prevent China from backsliding from its commitments, said Clete Willems.

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