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Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law


Commentators have widely discussed the piracy and counterfeiting problems in China. Every year, the United States is estimated to lose billions of dollars due to piracy and counterfeiting in the country alone. Published as part of the U.S.-China Trade: Opportunities and Challenges Symposium, this Essay focuses on the recent debate about whether the U.S. administration should file a formal complaint against China with the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization over inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The Essay begins by articulating four reasons why the administration should not do so. It then compares the approach recently proposed to the administration with the approach taken by the administration in the 1980s and early 1990s. This Essay argues that the current proposal would create a cycle of futility similar to the cycles created by the decade-old American intellectual property policy toward China. To avoid these cycles, the Essay highlights four remedial areas on which the administration and the business community should focus. The Essay concludes with three observations that provide insight into the piracy and counterfeiting problems in China and the difficulty in alleviating those problems.

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