Unfair trade practices by China cost US $48bn in 2009, says study by US International Trade Commission
A study by the US International Trade Commission has released a report which blames China for pirating US music, software and other goods, which it says costs the US nearly $50bn of money and millions of jobs.
The International Trade Commission said that Chinese piracy and counterfeiting of US goods cost American businesses an estimated $48bn in 2009.
The study also said that businesses in the US could support 923,000 more jobs if China stopped piracy of US goods.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said, "China’s unfair practices cost the US billions of dollars and millions of jobs."
"Time and time again, China has failed to protect and enforce American intellectual property rights, and it continues to discriminate unfairly against American businesses. We cannot pretend that there aren’t real consequences to these violations when these numbers show that millions of American jobs are on the line," Baucus added.
Last week, US senators re-introduced a bill that aims to give more power to authorities to clamp down on websites selling pirated movies, television shows, music and other fake products.
In November, a similar bill, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, was approved by the Senate, but it could not make it the Senate floor.
The new version of the bill has been renamed the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or Protect IP Act.
It was introduced by senator Patrick Leahy and Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
Leahy had said, "This legislation will protect the investment American companies make in developing brands and creating content and will protect the jobs associated with those investments."
"The Protect IP Act targets the most egregious actors, and is an important first step to putting a stop to online piracy and sale of counterfeit goods," Leahy said.
"We are sending a strong message to those selling or distributing counterfeit goods online that the United States will strongly protect its intellectual property rights," Hatch said.
"Fake pharmaceuticals threaten people’s lives. Stolen movies, music, and other products put many out of work."