Inside the U.S. WTO “Victory” Over China

26 02 2009
This billboard in Donguan, China encourages people not to sell pirated goods.

On January 26, the USTR announced an “important victory” in the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution panel regarding China’s compliance with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). And even though most media coverage declared a win for the United States, it’s not quite that clear cut–it seems that China may have won as well. Is the ruling just all bark and no bite? After all, of the three separate issues at hand, the U.S. won on one, won on part, and lost on part of another, and lost on what was arguably the most important of the three. Having waded through the entire 135 pages of the WTO Panel’s decision myself, here is a more accurate look at what actually transpired in the dispute.


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