The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) held 2019 Special 301 Public Hearing in Washington D.C. on February 27. Head of Legal Services Department of China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) led a delegation to the hearing and spoke on behalf of the Chinese business community in defense of the rights of Chinese companies. The hearing which lasted for one day was attended by government representatives from five countries of South Korea, Indonesia, Bolivia, Ukraine and Bulgaria as well as representatives from 21 industry associations worldwide.
The Chinese representative said at the hearing, 2018 Special 301 Report spoke positively of the achievements China made in 2017 concerning IP rights protection, but still insisted the indication that the current situation in China is unfavorable for the protection of US IP rights lacks factual grounds. Since 2018, China has made tremendous efforts in IP legislation, administration of justice and law enforcement, etc in order to further protect the IP achievements of owners of all countries, including the US. In legislation, China reviewed the draft amendment to the patent law, Foreign Investment Law (draft) and enacted the new Anti-Unfair Competition Law. In justice administration, China achieved progress in judicial reforms concerning IP in 2018 and the quality, efficiency and consistence of IP case judgement have been dramatically improved. In law enforcement, China finished the reform and regrouping of national and provincial IP agencies in 2018 in an effort to improve the work efficiency of industry authorities, step up the law enforcement for IP protection and make joint cross-departmental law enforcement a new normal. In addition, China relaxed dramatically the market access for foreign capital and released special administrative measures for foreign investment access (negative list) and put in place policies for expanding opening up in 22 fields. CCOIC expressed its hope that the US recognize the dramatic results China has achieved in IP protection, urging USTR to give China fair and objective appraisal and remove China from the list of Priority Watch List.
This is the second time in the past two consecutive years that CCOIC attends the Special 301 Public Hearing at which CCOIC submitted a written review of over 700 pages, introducing in details the latest developments in China in IP protection legislation, management system, law enforcement, judicial reform and foreign companies market access, etc. and responded to the latest questions in Section 301 and special 301 report published by the US last year.
This Special 301 Public Hearing came at the key stage of China-US high-level trade and economic negotiations. In recent years, CCOIC attended US trade investigation hearings consecutively on behalf of the Chinese business community, speaking for their pursuits, safeguarding companies’ interests and presenting important progress China has made in improving business environment and IP rights protection with a large number of facts, promoting the bilateral economic and trade relations to develop in a healthy way.