ACTA: Intervention of China to the WTO TRIPS Council

The following is extracted from China's intervention made at the WTO TRIPS Council meeting held from 26-27 October 2010; this reflects China's position on ACTA.

On ACTA

Excessive or unreasonably high standards for IPR protection could unfairly increase monopolistic profits of right holders, eating into the consumer surplus and further broadening the gap between the rich and the poor in the world. Recognizing that, TRIPS Art.7 stresses the importance of balance between right-holders and users and TRIPS Art. 8 emphasizes the prevention of IP abuses and unreasonable obstacle to trade and technology transfer, and there are also special and differential and other flexibilities for developing countries in TRIPS.

As to ACTA, it does not have any multilateral mandate for WTO members. Any negative spill-over effects of ACTA on the vast majority of the WTO members which are not party of this agreement will be definitely not only subject to reviews according to the mandates of various councils and committees under the WTO, but also subject to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and even counter measures in accordance with DSU, TRIPS, GATT, GATS, and etc. Therefore, consistency and compatibility between ACTA and the WTO legal framework, whether it encroaches on the rights and flexibilities of WTO members, and whether it adds obligations to WTO members are worth examination especially in the light of G20 and APEC leaders’ continuous call on the prevention of new trade protectionist measures in their declaration since APEC summit and G20 summit will convene back to back in just about ten days’ time. In this connection, WTO members’ concerns over the poor record on the transparency of ACTA negotiation are therefore pertinent.

Last but not least, it was clearly in the record of the last June meeting of this Council that China, India, Argentina, Venezuela, Mauritius, speaking on behalf of ACP group and etc. all preferred the original title and it was commonly understood that this item is on an ad-hoc basis. Therefore, our delegation would like to suggest modification of para. 21 in the proposed Draft Annual Report 2010 that the word “ad-hoc” could be put before the word “item” and a bracket after “enforcement trends” and within the bracket we put “originally put forward as TRIPS-plus enforcement trends”. We request this suggestion on the record of this meeting.