The Blog

Trade Agreement Signing Time

With meetings scheduled for August 15 to assess compliance with the bilateral trade agreement signed on January 15 – the Phase One agreement – the crackdown on information about the emergence of COVID-19 by the Chinese regime sheds new light on their behaviour and tactics, causing confusion and concern among U.S. leaders. The 18-language chapter, which represents one-fifth of the comprehensive agreement, imposes various obligations on trade secrecy, drug-related intellectual property, geographical indications, trademarks, patents, e-commerce infringement and enforcement of pirated and counterfeit goods. The theft of IP and trade secrets has long been a concern of American companies and one of the main triggers of the Trump administration`s customs escalation. The agreement contains provisions for the protection of confidential information that are considered trade secrets – U.S. companies feel that this is not sufficiently protected by Chinese law. Considerable progress has also been made in protecting drug-related intellectual property. The agreement also calls on China to present an “action plan to strengthen intellectual property protection” within 30 days of the agreement`s entry into force. While acknowledging the need to continue negotiations with China to resolve many other issues, President Donald Trump hailed the agreement as a victory for the U.S. economy and his administration`s trade policy. A first pact that cooled tensions in an election year follows months of escalating tariffs and a trade war that seemed never to stop. Key trade negotiators from China and the United States will discuss progress in implementing a phase one agreement as early as next week, after President Donald Trump threatened to “denounce” the deal if Beijing does not comply with conditions. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He sent a similar message after the June 17 meeting and suggested that China`s ability to meet its purchase commitments under the trade deal will force the United States to reduce pressure on other fronts.

China also expressed its readiness not to force U.S. companies to transfer their technology as a condition of operation in that country, with additional tariffs. And it will refrain from ordering its companies to obtain sensitive foreign technology through acquisitions. The agreement also contains a commitment by both countries not to devalue their currencies in order to obtain an advantage in export markets.