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China violates import rules, WTO panel claims

The World Trade Organization has ruled that China must drop its import restrictions on foreign media products. The ruling is a victory for the United States, which had filed the complaint, saying that China’s rules stipulating that imports of books, films, and music be routed through state-owned companies were in violation of free trade rules.

The Chinese government can still appeal the decision.The issue is a sensitive one for China, which sees state control over private media as essential for maintaining power.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk hailed the ruling, saying, “Today, a WTO panel handed a significant victory to America’s creative industries.” However, U.S. media companies will still face major obstacles in China including a law that caps the number of foreign films released in China at 20 per year and a flourishing black market for movies and music.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2009 by in News and tagged , , .
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