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Letter to The Honorable Gary F. Locke Secretary of Commerce and The Honorable Ronald "Ron" Kirk U.S. Trade Representative

Dear Mr. Secretary and Ambassador Kirk:

We write to urge you to press China for meaningful objective commitments and metrics to increase U.S. market access in China and protect U.S. intellectual propert rights, including at the upcoming U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). For too long, China's commitments have failed to lead to commercially meaningful market access for U.S. companies. In particular, we urge you to secure robust commitments from China that will protect the range of U.S. industries, such as software, entertainment, and technology, harmed by the continued massive theft of their intellectual property and onerous and discriminatory market access restrictions in China.

The JCCT has been an important vehicle for dialogue with China on piracy and other issues that affect U.S. Intellectual property rights holder.s For example, since at least 2004, the U.S. Government has repeatedly raised concerns about persistently unacceptable levels of software piracy, the need for meaningful enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights with respect to products sold in and exported from China, and unwarranted restrictions on market access for U.S. innovative products into China. But improved market access results for U.S. companies, as measured by sales, jobs and exports, have been meager.

For example, despite the persistent efforts of you and your predecessors, illegal use of American software in China remains at unacceptable levels. We understand that today in China, nearly 80 out of every 100 computer programs are used illegally. The Commercial value of stolen personal computer software in China has nearly doubled in four years to $7.6 billion in 2009. The Chinese government's ongoing tolerance of software theft creates an unfair trade advantage that costs jobs in the United States. In October, the Chinese State Council issued decrees calling for greater enforcement against theft of intellectual property and committing the government to use only legal software. While these pronouncements are encouraging, China's track record is not. In 2005, China made similar commitments to the United States in the JCCT, which have not been realized five years later.

The renewable energy sector provides another example. At the 2009 meeting of the JCCT, China agreed to eliminate its 70 percent local content requirement for wind-power equipment, a requirement that appeared to be inconsistent with commitments China already agreed to when it acceded to the World Trade Organization. While this discriminatory requirement was removed, U.S. companies still face myriad other market access barriers that have rendered China's action moot. For example, U.S. companies are required to demonstrate that they have adequate experience in the Chinese market in order to bid on projects, and China refuses to recognize U.S. companies' global experience outside of China. We must comprehensively address such barriers and refuse to continue to accept commitments that do not provide meaningful market access for U.S. companies.

We urge the Administration to measure progress on greater U.S. market access into China and protection of U.S. intellectual property rights by objective criteria. These criteria should include commercially meaningful metrics, such as increased U.S. exports to and sales in China that increase U.S. jobs, a significant decrease in the theft of U.S. intellectual property rights caused by infringing products sold in and exported from China, and an objective means to verify such results.


Sander M. Levin
Charles B. Rangel
Fortney Pete Stark
Jim McDermott
John Lewis
Richard E. Neal
John S. Tanner
Dave Camp
Wally Herger
Sam Johnson
Kevin Brady
Paul Ryan
John Linder
Devin Nunes
Mike Thompson
John B. Larson
Earl Blumenauer
Ron Kind
Bill Pascrell Jr.
Shelley Berkley
Joseph Crowley
Chris Van Hollen
Pat Tiberi
Geoff Davis
Dave G. Reichert
Charles W. Boustany Jr.
Dean Heller
Peter J. Roskam
Allyson Y. Schwartz
Danny K. Davis
Linda T. Sanchez
Lloyd Doggett
Xavier Becerra

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