Sinic Trade Agreements and China's Global Intellectual Property Strategy
Peter K. Yu
Drake University Law School
January 26, 2009
IP ASPECTS OF FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION, Christoph Antons & Reto M. Hilty, eds., Kluwer Law International, 2011
In the past decade, the European Union and the United States have pushed aggressively for the development of bilateral and regional trade agreements. Termed economic partnership agreements by the European Union and free trade agreements by the United States, these instruments seek to transplant laws from the more powerful signatories to the less powerful ones. In the intellectual property area, these agreements have been fairly controversial. By introducing laws that go beyond the multilateral standards required by the TRIPS Agreement, these agreements have ignored the local needs, national interests, technological capabilities, institutional capacities, and public health conditions of many less developed members of the WTO.
Although the use of bilateral and regional trade agreements is not limited to the European Union and the United States, the scholarly literature thus far has focused mostly on these agreements. To fill the void, this chapter examines closely China's bilateral and regional trade agreements. It begins by analyzing the underlying goals of these Sinic trade agreements (STAs) and the negotiation strategy behind their development. Using the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement as an illustration, the chapter points out that STAs thus far have had very limited coverage of issues concerning the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. In light of such limited coverage, this chapter explains why China has kept a low profile in the international intellectual property arena. It nevertheless concludes by underscoring China's need to play a more assertive role in shaping global intellectual property norms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 27, 2009 ; Last revised: October 17, 2011
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