Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) cracks down on China's attempt to force MI business owner to hand over technology
Every day, millions of Chinese products are imported into a U.S. market that strives to protect intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, these same protections do not apply to American companies that sell high-tech goods to China, a nation that has long employed a host of predatory trade practices and blatant disregard for intellectual property rights.
One Michigan manufacturer gained firsthand insight into China’s wanton disregard for intellectual property ownership when attempting to export electronics to the Chinese market. Wayne Olsen, General Manager of R&B Electronics was repeatedly asked by Chinese trade officials to disclose information about how his products were made, and was told that his ability to sell his goods in China was contingent on the release of this sensitive material.
When Mr. Olsen brought this to the attention of his Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), she released a statement to draw attention to yet another attempt by China to “strong-arm” an American manufacturer into handing over intellectual property rights, an occurrence that she notes has become all too common:
"China has a clear pattern of flagrantly violating trade rules and it is long past time to stand up to them. China sells plenty of products here, but when our businesses want to sell there they are told they have to turn over all their intellectual property and give away their technology. That's outrageous. For years I have been leading the effort to create a Trade Enforcement Unit to fight back against other countries illegal trade violations, and I believe we may finally have the momentum to get that done."
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul also weighed in on the issue, citing the need for federal intervention to prevent continued Chinese trade violations:
"China employs a pattern of predatory trade practices on a massive scale, including forced intellectual property and technology transfer. China's policies undercut American companies and cost us jobs. It's essential that federal action be taken to challenge these abuses before they completely undermine the job recovery underway in U.S. manufacturing. Senator Stabenow has been a strong leader in standing up for American manufacturers and we are glad her initiatives continue to gain support."
And the electronics industry isn’t the only manufacturing sector that is being weakened by China’s illegal trade policies: According to three new reports, more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S. auto supply chain have been lost since 2000 and another 1.6 million U.S. jobs are at risk unless China’s cheating is curtailed. According to one of the EPI studies, Michigan alone stands to lose 249,989 auto parts jobs unless China starts playing by the rules.
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