CONGRESSMAN DONNELLY MEETS WITH CHINA'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES
Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly met with Zhou Wenzhong, China's Ambassador to the United States. Donnelly requested the meeting with the ambassador after he learned of the problems businesses in his district such as Abro Industries, Inc. and L.E. Johnson Products are having with Chinese companies stealing their intellectual property and patented product designs.
"I met with Ambassador Wenzhong to express my concerns about certain Chinese trade practices." Donnelly said. "Taking others' ideas and passing them off as your own does not promote fair trade and harms Hoosier businesses. It also puts the consumer at risk because the quality of products is not assured."
During the meeting, Donnelly showed the ambassador an example of intellectual property theft relating to Epoxy Steel, a product made by Abro Industries, Inc. Abro discovered in 2002 a counterfeit version of Epoxy Steel made by a Chinese company called Hunan Magic. The Hunan Magic version of the product was identical in appearance, all the way down to the picture on the packaging, which happened to be of Abro's sales manager's wife.
"I try to give all sides of a story a chance to be told," Donnelly explained to the ambassador. "In this case, however, with all due respect, there's only one story to be told. This product was copied and passed off as an authentic Abro original. The use of the sales manager's wife's picture proves that."
Congressman Donnelly intends to support legislation similar to Senator Bayh's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act which was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate. This legislation would strengthen IP theft enforcement.
"Companies in my district recognize that we live in a global economy and want to participate in open and fair competition," Donnelly said. "However, the message I hear repeated from companies like Abro is that Chinese companies do not participate in a way that promotes the best interests of the global economy. We've seen evidence of some of these companies copying the ideas of Americans and selling the products at a cheaper price, taking away the benefits of competition. I met with the ambassador to raise these issues and to ask him to look into the matter."