U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), along with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sent a letter urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oppose China’s leadership in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and take the necessary diplomatic steps to ensure our allies and partners do the same before the nomination of the Director General in Geneva, Switzerland this week.
Given China’s persistent violations of intellectual property protections, including trade secret theft, corporate espionage, and forced transfer of technology, the letter argues that China’s intent to lead the World Intellectual Property Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, poses a significant threat to both U.S. economic security and the integrity of international IP rights and standards.
The Senators note that the Chinese Communist Party is strategically investing in critical and emerging technologies as part of Made in China 2025 and other Chinese Communist Party-led industrial policies, including a patchwork of practices and tactics that coerce American companies to transfer their technology and IP to domestic Chinese corporations, with the aim of undermining U.S. innovation and economic leadership.
The Senators emphasize that the United States cannot allow China to ascend as the leader of global intellectual property policy, as China routinely violates its commitment to adhere to a rules-based system and remains on USTR’s Priority Watch List for its failure to strengthen IP protection and enforcement and for engaging in harmful conduct.