U.S. Senate leaders on April 26 introduced a resolution highlighting the lack of adequate intellectual property protections in China and Russia. The resolution asks the Bush administration to more for

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senate leaders on April 26 introduced a resolution highlighting the lack of adequate intellectual property protections in China and Russia. The resolution asks the Bush administration to more forcefully steer those governments toward a stronger rampant piracy enforcement.

The resolution, authored by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, describes piracy in Russia and China as "open, notorious and permitted to operate without meaningful hindrance from the governments of those countries."

Highlighting the $4 billion-plus losses to the U.S. industry at the hands of intellectual property theft from these two countries alone, the resolution calls on the Bush administration to "utilize effective remedies and solutions in addressing the lack of intellectual property protection in China and Russia."

Steps would include ensuring that U.S. trading partners meet their obligations under international agreements, as well as the criteria for participating in U.S. trade programs affording unilaterally extended trade benefits.

Mitch Bainwol, chairman/CEO of the Recording Industry Assn. of America, views the resolution as a call to action: "There is an urgent need to direct attention to markets like Russia and China, where piracy is allowed to openly run rampant, unchecked by the government."

Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, joined Baucus in urging the Acting United States Trade Representative and the administration to resolve a number of outstanding trade concerns before concluding negotiations that would allow Russia to join the World Trade Organization.

The resolution was introduced on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day.

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