China reacted angrily Thursday to the possibility of U.S. trade sanctions over copyright piracy and accused Washington of acting irrationally.
The U.S. government has given China until June 30 to resolve disputes over intellectual property rights or risk being named a priority country for investigations that could trigger trade sanctions.Lee Sands, a U.S. trade representative, held talks last week in Beijing but was not convinced that China has done enough to enforce laws protecting intellectual property rights.
Everything from fake designer jeans to pirated computer software are widely available in China. U.S. companies contend that copyright piracy in China cost them $800 million in lost sales last year.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said China "has done its upmost and has done a lot of work" to protect intellectual property rights.
"The U.S. government in disregard of these facts has put China in the name list of priority countries," Shen said.