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By | John Oates 28th April 2008 09:13

China and Russia still piracy hotbeds, says US gov

'Pirates and counterfeiters'

The United States Trade Representative has slammed China and Russia as the world's worst offenders for stealing US intellectual property - again.

The latest 301 report, available here as a large pdf, said China remained on the Priority Watch list because "high levels of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting remain serious concerns".

Ambassador Susan Schwab said: “Pirates and counterfeiters don’t just steal ideas; they steal jobs, and too often they threaten our health and safety."

Despite its high placing Russia has made some progress in tackling piracy, the report said, by "moving optical disc factories off of government-controlled sites and raiding unlicensed factories". But large-scale CD and DVD burning factories and internet piracy remain a serious problem.

There is better news for Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and the Ukraine which are moved from the Priority Watch list to the Watch List. Belize and Lithuania are removed from the report altogether.

There are nine countries on the Priority Watch List: China, Russia, Argentina, Chile, India, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, and Venezuela.

There are 36 countries on the lower level Watch List.

The US government is continuing to use the WTO dispute process to settle disagreements with China.

The USTR will conduct special investigations, or Out-of-Cycle Reviews, into Israel and Taiwan.

The US also of course remains the subject of a WTO complaint from Antigua over internet gambling. ®

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Chris Mellor

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