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China, Russia, five others make US property rights blacklist

China, Russia, five others make US property rights blacklist

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has put China, Russia and five other countries on its annual blacklist for lax enforcement of intellectual property rights that leaves American companies vulnerable to copyright and trademark piracy.

All seven countries on this year’s list were on last year’s, too.

“China continues to be the largest origin economy for counterfeit and pirated goods,’’ according to the report.

Also on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s “priority watch list’’ were Argentina, Chile, India, Indonesia and Venezuela.

The U.S. suspended its review this year of Ukraine -- which made last year’s blacklist -- while it attempts to fight off an invasion from Russia.

The trade office also removed Saudi Arabia from its priority watch list, citing its crackdown on counterfeit and pirated goods, the creation of special intellectual property enforcement courts and other steps.

To prepare the list, which was released Wednesday, the trade office reviewed the performance of more than 100 U.S. trading partners.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that the report identifies countries “that are falling short’’ and promised that the Biden administration “will continue to engage with these trading partners to level the playing field for our workers and businesses.''

Russia, it said, continues to lack “sufficient staffing, expertise, and the political will to effectively combat (intellectual property) violations and criminal enterprises.’’

In addition to the seven countries on the priority list, another 20 made the trade office’s “watch list,’’ meaning that the U.S. believes those countries need to step up property rights enforcement.