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 TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats Trump insults Democrats, calls on followers to watch Fox News ahead of impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Schiff closes Dems' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  MORE (R-Ark.) and Reps. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaLawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa Hillicon Valley: Election security funding gets mixed response | Facebook tests community fact checking | Lawmakers look to block Chinese pick for IP organization | Secret court judge rebukes FBI over surveillance warrants Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to oppose Chinese nominee to lead intellectual property body MORE (D-Calif.) and Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherGOP lawmaker: New sanctions provide 'offramp' from rising US-Iran tensions GOP Congressman reacts to Trump's address Hillicon Valley: DHS warns of Iranian cyber threats | YouTube updates child content policy | California privacy law takes effect | Tech, cyber issues to watch in 2020 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 LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House 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.