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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 USTR Special 301 report


The US Government's Annual USTR Special 301 report came out on Tuesday and for South East Asian countries the picture is this.

Indonesia and Thailand remain on the Priority Watch list. Indonesia is cited mainly for enforcement weakness (especially courts and prosecutors) while Thailand's problems are more around unimplemented regulations.

Vietnam and Philippines remain on the Watch List, the lower tier.

You can criticise this US Government review of trading partners as hypocritical, or too biased to copyright industries and not taking developmental status of countries into account. Thailand gets an unfair amount of attention because of its long open market and a particular problem of fake apparel exports. Indonesia on the other hand is indeed far behind its neighbours on enforcement, and in the face of a greater market potential perhaps has more serious IP challenges.

IP Komodo thinks the report looks about right in its context.

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