WTO Ruling Could Further Open China to U.S. Entertainment Industry

The World Trade Organization ruled that China violates international trade rules by limiting the import of American books, music, and movies. The Washington Post reports:

The ruling, handed down by a three-member panel in Geneva, was hailed as a victory for the U.S. entertainment industry, opening wider the door into China’s 1.3-billion-strong market for U.S. companies that distribute films, publish books, produce CDs and sell online downloads of popular songs.

“Today a WTO panel handed a significant victory to America’s creative industries,” Ron Kirk, the U.S. trade representative, said in a statement. “These findings are an important step toward ensuring market access for legitimate U.S. products in the Chinese market, as well as ensuring market access for U.S. exporters and distributors of those products.”

The WTO ruling said China’s regulations, which largely channel distribution of foreign audio-visual material through state-owned companies, were inconsistent with its pledges on entering the WTO in 2001 and with the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It said the WTO should therefore order China “to bring the relevant measures into conformity with its obligations under those agreements.”

August 12, 2009 7:58 PM
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