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In an annual report, the US Trade Representative (USTR) revealed that China and Russia remain at the top of Washington’s list of countries that must be watched closely for intellectual property protection issues.

According to the US report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List raised the most serious concerns this year about insufficient IP protection or enforcement, or actions that otherwise limited market access for those relying on intellectual property protection.

The United States identified 27 trading partners with IP protection issues and placed them on a “priority watch list,” with seven of them being Argentina, Chile, India, China, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela.

According to the report, “These countries will be the focus of particularly intense bilateral engagement in the coming year.” The report also stated that “China must provide a level playing field for IP protection and enforcement, refrain from requiring or pressuring technology transfer to Chinese companies at all levels of government, open China’s market to foreign investment, and embrace open and market-oriented policies.”

According to the report, Beijing made commitments to address numerous long-standing concerns in the areas of trade secrets, patents, pharmaceutical-related IP, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, and technology transfer in the 2020 trade agreement signed between the US and China.

According to Biden’s administration, “it remains to be seen” whether Beijing’s commitments related to these concerns will improve intellectual property protection.

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