Dispute DS363 (here’s a summary) has at its core how the Chinese distribute and ‘protect’ from piracy American creative works in that country. So why should precision machine products manufacturers care about how the Chinese “distribute Hollywood movies, books, and music?”
“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim – when he defends himself – as a criminal.”- John Frederick Bastiat
Reason 1: Intellectual property rights are at the root of every bit of legitimate commerce. It isn’t just Hollywood movies being pirated across the pacific. Industrial designs, machined parts, counterfeit products are legion from the country whose premier, Hu Jintao, Mr. Obama will soon host.
Reason 2: This is the portent of the authentic test of President Obama: his dealings with Hu Jintao next month at the G 20 Summit in Pittsburgh Sept 24-25, 2009. Will he execute the appropriate remedial actions against the Chinese violations recognized and confirmed by due process via the WTO, and ITC, protecting American jobs and interests?
Before that Pittsburgh meeting, the administration must rule on a recommendation by the US International Trade Commission to impose up to a 55% tariff on Chinese Tires. We’ve been following the Cheap Chinese Tires deaths cases since our ethics class at Walsh University in July of 2007. These issues have been around for a long time… the current cheap tire row is a suit filed by the USW who charged that the flood of cheap Chinese tires had resulted in massive loss of jobs.
Is Obama as wise as Solomon? Will he stand up for American interests? How will he, as one of the world’s leading debtor executives- respond to his legal responsibilities to enforce the trade laws with China, perhaps his largest creditor?
Will he deliver the remedy won by the USW against Chinese dumping, in light of his need for cooperation from China, a leading purchaser of US Treasuries? Or will he acquiesce, complicit in the plunder of American intellectual property rights and jobs?
After 8 years of nonfeasance on the China Currency Issue out of Washington D.C., we’re wondering.
Could this be a Change?
“The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.” John Frederic Bastiat
Watch these China cases for a glimpse of our industry’s future. And an understanding of what the current administration thinks of manufacturing.