August 13, 2009 10:46
The United States has won a major dispute with China at the World Trade Organization over the import and distribution of audiovisual material in China.
A WTO panel decided Wednesday that Beijing should revise rules that require U.S. media producers to route their business through Chinese state-owned companies. The panel said the rules violate China's WTO obligations.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk welcomed the decision Wednesday, two years after the U.S. initiated its claim. In a statement, Kirk called the ruling a significant victory for America's creative industries. He said it would "level the playing field" for U.S. companies and ensure legitimate U.S. products can get to the Chinese market and beat out pirated goods.
The ruling affects U.S. exporters and distributors of CDs, DVDs, music downloads and books. China and the U.S. disagree on several other trade issues.
The U.S. International Trade Commission says increased imports of Chinese tires are harming U.S. tire makers, a claim Beijing denies. U.S. President Barack Obama must decide by September 17 whether to follow the commission's recommendation to impose tariffs on Chinese tires for three years.
China's vice commerce minister, Fu Ziying, called the proposed tariffs protectionism on Wednesday, and said they would break WTO rules.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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