U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff expresses Washington's growing concern about the piracy of American goods and lack of access to China's market during the seventh round of U.S.-China Interparliamentary Ex
BEIJING (The Hollywood Reporter) -- U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, whose constituents include Disney and Warner Bros., on Aug. 2 expressed Washington's growing concern about the piracy of American goods and lack of access to China's market during the seventh round of U.S.-China Interparliamentary Exchange, which opened here Aug. 1.
Schiff, a Democrat from the 29th District of California, indicated hope but a degree of impatience after meetings with representatives from China's Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, China's top broadcast media regulator.
"China has shown every capability to crack down on intellectual property theft and open its markets. What's still lacking is the will," Schiff said in an interview after a news conference.
His comments echo sentiments expressed in past months during visits to China by Motion Picture Assn. head Dan Glickman as well as U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and lead U.S. trade negotiator Rob Portman.
Hollywood studios lost about $285 million in potential revenue to pirated DVDs in China last year, according to the MPA, and are limited to sharing revenue from the 20 films they are allowed to export to China for exhibition each year.
Schiff, who serves on the House International Relations and Judiciary Committees and on the judiciary subcommittee on courts, the Internet and intellectual property, said he stressed in the meetings with Chinese parliamentarians that his constituents were concerned about this lack of market access.
"An industry which used to have a positive trade balance with every nation on Earth up until last year now has an exception -- China," Schiff said.
Chinese government officials have a record of asking for the patience of their counterparts from developed nations as China tries to control its breakneck growth and maintain stability for the world's largest population.
"I am confident that China will crack down on the piracy of Olympics goods," Schiff said in reference to branded items likely to be sold to promote Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Summer Games. "All we are asking for is that American goods be given the same fair treatment."
Schiff said he was certain that China would not tolerate the pirating of Chinese goods arriving in American ports.
"China cannot have it both ways, if it wishes to enjoy the benefits of having joined the World Trade Organization it has to play by the same rules."