Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to oppose Chinese nominee to lead intellectual property body

Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to oppose Chinese nominee to lead intellectual property body
© Greg Nash

Four bipartisan lawmakers on Monday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses MORE to oppose China's bid to lead the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) at the United Nations, alleging that China's own infractions could threaten intellectual property rights and the U.S. economy.

The Chinese Communist Party last month nominated a candidate to head the WIPO, which sets international standards for copyrights and patents, a move seen as a bid to shape the body.

"Given China’s persistent violations of intellectual property protections, including through trade secret theft, corporate espionage, and forced transfer of technology, the United States and its allies must stand firmly against such a move," Sens. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' Biden refuses to say whether he would support expanding Supreme Court Schumer says Trump tweet shows court pick meant to kill off ObamaCare MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE (R-Ark.) and Reps. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaOn The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits Bipartisan bill introduced to provide tax credit to food and beverage distributors Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze MORE (D-Calif.) and Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherGovernment watchdog recommends creation of White House cyber director position Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems MORE (R-Wis.) wrote in Monday's letter to Trump.

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"We cannot let a regime, which continues to blatantly undermine the rules-based system by failing to ensure open markets or respect for intellectual property rights, ascend as the leader of global intellectual property policy."

The lawmakers asked Trump to both oppose the Chinese nominee and "take the necessary diplomatic steps to ensure our allies and partners do the same before the Director General election next spring."

They noted that Trump himself has accused China of intellectual property theft and cited the U.S. trade representative declaring China a “precarious and uncertain environment” for American intellectual property owners.

The letter adds that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei was the top filer of international patent applications to the WIPO last year. Huawei was added to a blacklist by the Trump administration earlier this year over national security concerns related to the company's close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

The request for Trump to oppose China's pick to head the WIPO comes a week after the two parties announced that they had reached a "phase one" trade deal after months of escalating tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE said last week that as part of the negotiations the U.S. extracted concessions on intellectual property.

It is not immediately clear what those concessions will look like in action.