Taiwan off USTR watch list for 9th year running

China and India stay on Priority Watch List

Taiwan stays off USTR watchlists. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan stayed off the annual “Special 301” watch lists issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative for the ninth year running, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) emphasized Saturday.

Each year, the office draws up a watch list and a priority watch list of U.S. trading partners “with harmful records on protection, enforcement, or market access for U.S. innovators and creators,” its website says. The list is the result of a review of international developments in trade and intellectual property issues.

China and India both remained on the priority watch list, with widespread “trade secret theft, rampant online piracy, and counterfeiting, and high levels of physical pirated and counterfeit exports to markets around the globe” mentioned in the case of the former country.

Other Asian countries on the priority watch list included Indonesia and Thailand, while 23 countries, including Vietnam but even Switzerland and Canada, featured on the watch list, the MOEA pointed out.

The ministry said Taiwan’s absence from both lists shows U.S. appreciation for its efforts regarding the protection of intellectual property rights.

Nevertheless, the report still mentions Taiwan as one of the trading partners which needs to improve its performance on the government use of unlicensed software. It however also praises the island for strengthening its trade secret regime.

The MOEA said it was working on progress toward all relevant goals, with the Legislative Yuan considering government proposals and legislation helpful to improving Taiwan’s position on issues mentioned by the USTR report.