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U.S. Joins EU’s WTO Case on Mainland China’s Forced Technology Transfers

On 18 January, the United States notified the World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement Body that it wished to join the European Union’s dispute settlement case on mainland China’s technology transfer policies. The U.S. request noted a “substantial trade interest” in the EU’s dispute with mainland China as well as its own request for consultations on intellectual property rights protection in the mainland.

The European Commission has challenged mainland Chinese policies that “force or induce European companies to transfer technology to their joint ventures with Chinese partners in exchange for the necessary administrative approvals by the Chinese authorities.” On 16 January, the members of the Dispute Settlement Panel for the U.S. case were announced by the DSB. Meanwhile, the EU, Japan and the United States have been holding other discussions on WTO reform ideas, some of which are believed to be aimed at changing WTO rules and their implementation vis-à-vis mainland China.

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