China intellectual property event
China intellectual property roadshows

I will be speaking on China intellectual property law at a couple of United States Patent and Trademark Office China Intellectual Property Roadshows in Michigan on Monday and Wednesday this week. I have spoken previously at USPTO roadshows and I am a massive fan of them. Present company excluded, they invariably have great speakers and they typically serve pretty good food and the whole thing is free. Top that!

Monday is Detroit (at Stroh’s River Place, 300 River Place Dr, Suite 5900) and will consist of the following topics:

  • Overview of Intellectual Property in China — Creating and Managing IP Portfolios
  • Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting
  • Litigation involving the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights in the US
  • US-China Competition and Collaboration
  • USPTO Resources for China IP

For more information on that event, go here. Note though that this event has been sold out for quite some time.

Grand Rapids is not sold out and I have to say that event is my raison d’etre on this trip. I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is about 45 minutes from Grand Rapids, which to me growing up was the big city (even dubbed by my friends and me as “The Big GR,” I kid you not). So being able to speak there is a special honor. The Grand Rapids roadshow will be this Wednesday at the L. William Seidman Center, 50 Front Ave. SW and it will consist of the same topics as the Detroit event, minus the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Go here for more information and to sign up.

See you there!

China CopyrightsOn Friday June 23, in collaboration with the National Copyright Administration of China, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will be putting on a one-day conference on legal protections for sports broadcasts. This event will take place at the Novotel Beijing Peace Hotel and run from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. that day.

There is no charge to attend.

The leader of our China entertainment group, Mathew Alderson, will be speaking at this event. This event will explore the different ways countries protect the creative content of live events, with a particular focus on broadcasts of sporting events. As China continues to develop amendments to its Copyright Law, now is an opportune time for an in-depth discussion in this area.

The program will bring together US, Chinese, and European government officials, academic leaders, and industry representatives to discuss the importance of providing legal protection for sports broadcast programs, including the role of copyright protection, how sports broadcasts are currently protected in China, the United States, and the European Union, and international perspectives on the subject. Go here for more information on the event and here for more information on how to register or can just contact Ms. LIU Jia and provide her with the following registration information:

1. Your full name
2. Your organization
3. Your full position / title
4. Your email address

Hope to see you there.

China Entertainment LawThe leader of our China entertainment group, Mathew Alderson, will be speaking on a panel at Peking University School of Law on June 21st. The panel is entitled “Looking Beyond: Opportunities and Challenges.” It will be part of the 2nd Annual China-US Entertainment Law Conference, presented by Peking University School of Law, the US Patent and Trademark Office, Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and the Beijing Film Academy. Mathew’s panel will be one of four dealing with current issues in China film, TV, gaming and music. These issues include fair use of live game streaming, copyright protection of live broadcasts, music licensing issues, protection of celebrity names, risk management, and talent agency contract dispute resolution.

The titles of the other three panels are:

  • Year in Review — Recent Developments in the China-US Entertainment Industry
  • IP Issues in the China-US Film, TV, Music and Gaming Industries
  • Other Issues in the Film, TV, Music and Gaming Industries

This is a major event for which the organizers have assembled a great cast of Chinese and foreign experts. For further details see this flyer: US China Entertainment Law Conference.

Go to this link to register.

We hope to see you there.

Cleveland Cincinnati China EventMy Midwest roots run deep (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, mostly), so I tend to seize on any excuse to return there. I will have that excuse in droves later this month as I will be speaking on China in three Midwest cities and serving as a “China legal expert” in a fourth.

Cleveland will be first on my Midwest tour and I will be speaking there on June 19 before the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Go here to register. My speech is entitled How to Protect Your Business in China, and among other things, I will be discussing the following:

  • How to choose the right China partner
  • How to identify the IP assets you need to protect
  • How to structure your China deal
  • How to draft your China contracts to protect your company and your IP
  • What you should know about China trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licensing agreements
The schedule for this event will be as follows:
11:30 am Registration Starts
12:00 pm Lunch Starts
12:15 – 1: 30 pm Speaking (including a Q and A session at the end)
1: 30 pm – 2: 30 pm Networking Hour
Please come!

Then on June 20 and 21, I will be in Detroit, Michigan (a mere 2 hours by car from where I grew up) as a “legal expert” at Alibaba’s Gateway ’17. This event as being billed as part of Jack Ma’s making good on his promise to help create one million new jobs in America. See Alibaba Takes First Step To Fulfilling Jack Ma And President Trump’s ‘One Million U.S. Jobs’ Promise. My role at this event will be to talk to the media and to SME participants about the legal aspects of selling products to China, especially online. Spoiler Alert: I will mostly be focusing on the need to file for English language trademarks and patents and copyrights in China before selling products there and consider creating Chinese language names and filing for those too. This event has a ton of great speakers and a ton of great breakout sessions and if you can possibly attend, you should.

I then head to Chicago where on June 22 I will speak at the 13th Annual Product Liability Prevention Seminar. I have spoken at this conference many times and always enjoyed it because of the other speakers and the attendees, most of whom are involved with product manufacturing around the world. My talk will focus on the legal aspects of China manufacturing, emphasizing the role of contracts and IP.

Then it’s on to Cincinnati, where on June 23 I will be giving a lunchtime talk before the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce on how to use the law to protect your business in China. Go here to register. My talk will be followed by a Town Hall discussion moderated by my good friend Jeff Holtmeier, with whom I have worked on many a China deal, mostly involving health care and technology. Jeff is the real deal and I am very much looking forward to being on a panel with him. So again, please come!

Then it’s back to the salt mines….

China lawOn Monday, June 5, I will be speaking in Mexico City at a special event hosted by the Confederación de Cámaras Industriales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (CONCAMIN). Founded in 1918, CONCAMIN is the top organisation of its kind, representing all the industry sectors and economic activities of highest relevance to Mexico’s economic development. I will be joined in my talk by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar, who has written the following posts for China Law Blog on the relationship between Mexico and China:

Adrian is the founder/CEO of Chevaya (驰亚), an Asia-Pacific internationalisation services company. He has a Doctor of Laws from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an LL.M. in International and Chinese Law from Wuhan University. Our own Mike Atkins will also be speaking at this event. Mike  heads up my law firm’s trademark prosecution and litigation practice and is the author of the world famous Seattle Trademark Lawyer Blog, which he started way way back in 2006. Mike splits his time between Mexico City and Seattle with occasional trips to China (mostly Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen) for client matters and speaking and teaching engagements. Most importantly, Mike typically heads up our big case cross-border tradmark and copyright litigation matters.

The main topic of our talk will be “China-NAFTA: doing business with the Middle Kingdom as a region,” something all the more relevant given the current importance of the relationship between Mexico, China and the United States. The goal of our talks is to help raise awareness about the need for companies in the NAFTA region to deal with each other effectively and efficiently and constructively. Much of our focus will be on inserting and integrating all three countries into company supply and value chains.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. (Central Mexico Time) at the Auditorium of CONCAMIN’s headquarters, located at 133 Manuel María Contreras, 8th floor, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. At 9:00 I will be speaking on “What you Need to Know to Enter the Chinese Market” (and why it sometimes makes sense to use the United States as your launching pad for doing so). Adrian will follow with “Tips for Mexican Companies Wishing to Go International in Asia-Pacific”. And Mike will close by describing “Best Practices for Protecting your Brand and your Online Presence.” All three talks will be in both English and Spanish and all will be geared towards the private sector, particularly SMEs, though members of the government and of academia are also expected (and of course) welcome to attend. The event will be open to the public and anyone interested in understanding more about business in/with China and Asia-Pacific in general should attend. To attend, please confirm in advance to the following email:  apoyotecnico@concamin.mx. This event is free.

I love Mexico City and I am always looking for reasons to go there, especially as our Mexican client base continues to expand.

We Hope to see you there! ¡Espero verlos por allá!

El lunes 5 de junio, impartiré una conferencia, junto con Adrián Cisneros Aguilar (de Chevaya-quizás ya hayan visto sus posts en nuestro blog) y Mike Atkins, de nuestra firma, en un evento especial organizado por la Confederación de Cámaras Industriales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (CONCAMIN) en la Ciudad de México. Constituida en 1918, la CONCAMIN es el organismo cúpula de representación de los distintos sectores industriales, actividades económicas de alta trascendencia para el desarrollo económico de México.

El tema principal de la conferencia es: “China-TLCAN: Haciendo Negocios con el País del Centro como una Región” más relevante que nunca, dado el estado actual de la relación entre México, China y los Estados Unidos. La idea es ayudar a crear conciencia acerca de la necesidad de las empresas de la región TLCAN de tratar unas con otras de forma efectiva, para así tener un grado de sofisticación similar y entrar en una relación constructiva con China a lo largo de la región, nivelando la balanza en términos de tamaño, insertando a China en cadenas regionales de valor y volviendo a China el medio para insistir en soluciones conjuntas a problemas regionales y en una integración real.

El evento comenzará a las 8:30 a.m. (hora del Centro de México), en el Auditorio de la sede de la CONCAMIN, ubicado en Manuel María Contreras 133, 8vo piso, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, CDMX. A las 9:00 comenzará mi ponencia, intitulada “Consejos Legales para Penetrar el Mercado Estadounidense sin Salirse del Presupuesto y Usar Dicho Mercado como Trampolín al Mercado Chino.” Acto seguido, Adrián nos dará unos “Consejos para las Empresas Mexicanas que Desean Internacionalizarse Hacia Asia-Pacífico.” Mike cerrará describiendo las “Mejores Prácticas para Proteger su Marca y Presencia en Línea.”

Este evento se encuentra abierto al público en general, y está dirigido al sector privado mexicano, en particular, las PyMEs, si bien se espera que asistan representantes del gobierno y la academia nacional. El evento también será de interés para todo aquel interesado en comprender más acerca de cómo hacer negocios en/con China y Asia-Pacífico en general. En caso de querer asistir, favor de confirmar con anticipación al teléfono: +525551407837 con Guadalupe Escalante o al correo-e: apoyotecnico@concamin.mx.

En lo personal, estoy muy emocionado de hablar por primera vez en América Latina sobre temas relacionados con China, así como de escuchar lo que el empresariado mexicano tiene que decir acerca de China y los EE.UU. Por supuesto, esperamos que esta conferencia sea la primera de muchas.

 

¡Espero verlos por allá!

INTA 2017 Spain IP lawyersIf you are going to be in Barcelona during INTA 2017, please let us know via an email to firm@harrisbricken.com and we will do our utmost to have one of our lawyers meet up with you there. Four of our lawyers will be there throughout the conference, including two of our lawyers from our Barcelona office, Nadja Vietz and Joaquin Cabrera. In addition to our home-grown talent, Mike Atkins (world famous for his Seattle Trademark Lawyer Blog) and Alison Malsbury (who spoke at INTA last year on cannabis trademarks) will also be attending. 

Please don’t tell anyone, but our having a Barcelona office means we know all the good places to go, including those that will not be overwhelmed by INTA hordes. 
 
As much as our China lawyers, including me, wanted to go to Barcelona for INTA in the end, work prevailed and we will all be in China or the United States for the duration.

国际商标协会2017年年会将于 5月20日-24日在西班牙巴塞罗那举行。我们衷心希望通过本次年会结识更多国际业界人士并建立友好关系。如果您也会去巴塞罗那参加此次年会,欢迎发送电子邮件到firm@harrisbricken.com 与我们联系, 我们会尽全力安排我们的律师和您在巴塞罗那见面。除了我们巴塞罗那办公室的两位律师Nadja VietzJoaquin Cabrera之外,西雅图总部的Mike AtkinsAlison Malsbury也会前往参会。Mike是拥有多年执业经验的西雅图商标律师,常年在著名的西雅图商标律师博客上发表商标法相关文章。另一位律师Alison 则在去年的国际商标协会年会上就大麻行业的商标法律问题发表演讲。

另外,我们的巴塞罗那同事熟知当地景点和文化,他们能告诉您本地人喜欢的去处,避开过于拥挤的热门旅游景点,帮助您了解巴塞罗那独特的魅力所在。

尽管我们的中国法律师(包括我自己)都非常希望前往巴塞罗那参与这次年会,但由于实在无法从工作中抽身,我们还会继续在美国和中国为您提供服务。

Sollten Sie an INTA 2017 in Barcelona teilnehmen, geben Sie uns bitte per E-Mail an firm@harrisbricken.com Bescheid und wir würden uns freuen, ein Meeting mit einem unserer Anwälte organisieren zu können. Vier unserer Anwälte sind während der Konferenz in Barcelona, einschliesslich unsere “spanischen” Anwälte aus unserem Barcelona Büro, Nadja Vietz und Joaquin Cabrera. Zusätzlich zu unserem Barcelona Team werden Mike Atkins (bekannt für seinen Seattle Trademark Lawyer Blog) und Alison Malsbury (welche bei INTA im vergangenen Jahr über Cannabis Branding vortrug) teilnehmen.
Bitte tragen Sie dies nicht weiter, aber da wir unser lokales Team haben, kennen wir auch all die Geheimtipps an sehenswerten Plätzen, welche nicht mit INTA Teilnehmern überfüllt sind.
So sehr unsere China-Anwälte, mich inbegriffen, an INTA hätten teilnehmen wollen, ging die Arbeit am Ende vor und wir werden nicht teilnehmen, sondern in China oder den USA sein.
Si va a estar en Barcelona durante INTA 2017, por favor háganoslo saber a través de un correo electrónico a la siguiente dirección: firm@harrisbricken.com y haremos todo lo posible para que uno de nuestros abogados se pueda reunir con Vd. Cuatro de nuestros abogados estarán en Barcelona a lo largo de la conferencia, entre ellos dos de nuestros abogados de nuestra oficina de Barcelona, Nadja Vietz y Joaquín Cabrera. Además de nuestro talento de Barcelona, asistirán también Mike Atkins (famoso por su Seattle Trademark Lawyer Blog) y Alison Malsbury (que habló en INTA el año pasado sobre marcas de cannabis).
Por favor, no se lo digas a nadie, pero nuestro tener una oficina en Barcelona significa que conocemos todos los buenos lugares para ir, incluyendo aquellos que no serán superpoblados con participantes de INTA.
Aunque nuestros abogados del departamento chino, incluido yo, quisiéramos ir a Barcelona para INTA, el trabajo prevaleció al final y todos estaremos en China o los Estados Unidos por la duración.

China law and business eventOn Tuesday, April 18, I will be speaking on China IP at the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong. This summit is designed to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to create and build an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business. In 12 Business Conferences In China You Should Attend, Bay McLaughlin McLaughlin in Forbes Magazine describes it as follows:

This popular summit shows entrepreneurs and small businesses how to create and build an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business. You’ll learn actionable strategies to grow your Amazon seller business and get insider tips on successful China importing. With over 3,000 booths this conference in huge! It will be held April 17-19, 2017, in Hong Kong.

I will be speaking Tuesday, April 18 on “How to Protect Your IP From China, Especially From Your Own Manufacturer,” focusing on the following:

  • How to choose the right China manufacturer
  • How to identify the IP assets you need to protect
  • How to structure your China manufacturing deal
  • How to draft your China manufacturing contracts to protect your IP
  • What you should know about trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licensing agreements
  • What to do when you’ve been copied

You can register for the Global Sources event here.

I will then cross the bay to speak in the middle of the afternoon on April 21 at Global From Asia’s Cross Border Summit, whose theme is “Grow Your Business in Asia.” This event too made Forbes Magazine’s top 12 for China list and Forbes justifies this choice as follows:

Held in Shenzhen, China, on 21-22 April, 2017, this event encourages international participation among industry leaders in cross border commerce between China and the rest of the world with content related to marketing, management, manufacturing, and technology. There are numerous roundtable discussions and networking sessions to encourage collaboration and idea generation. This event is hosted by Global From Asia, which also has a fantastic podcast about doing business in China.

My talk will be on “Global IP, In and Out of China: Protecting your brand via trademarks, inside China and globally.” You can register for the Cross Border Summit here.

Both events have a plethora of great speakers and I hope to see you at one or both of them.

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By now just about everyone knows about the Chinese-American doctor who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines airplane. To say this has been a PR mess for United Airlines would be an understatement. It has been a worldwide disaster. America is angry. China is outraged. The video has gone viral. Full disclosure: I started my legal career in Chicago at the law firm that back then (and I think still does) represent United Airlines and I have been a Platinum 1K (the highest tier) at United Airlines since as long as I can remember and I generally like the airline and I generally defend it.

What does this have to do with your China business? Everything.

Let me explain.

If you run any sort of business, you need to be prepared for major problems and you need to have a plan in place for dealing with those problems. Your plan must include how to prevent the problem from occurring, how to mitigate the problem if it does occur, and, sometimes most importantly, how to apologize for the problem when it does occur. If you do not have such a plan in place, your China business is at risk, and let me tell you, China poses major risks. Why is that? Because China has ~1.5 billion people and a large chunk of those people are on the internet and what happens in China or with China does not just stay in China, and vice-versa.

Let’s analyze what United did wrong and how you can do better. First off, United should have prevented the problem in the first place, and I am not talking about better algorithms that might have prevented the overbooking situation, though that certainly would not hurt. No, I am talking about how (based on what I have read) United was willing to offer only $800 to get passengers off the plane once it had become clear there was an overbooking situation. Why didn’t United just keep raising its bumping reward until it got voluntary takers? You can’t tell me that it would not have gotten more passengers off that plane had it kept raising its offer. I have to believe that it had it been willing to spend another $700 per passenger it would have had sufficient takers. United needed to get four passengers off that plane. Do you think paying another $2800 total will have killed them? What do you think this debacle is going to cost United in cancelled or never-booked flights? I’m just wildly guessing, but I’d say more like $2.8 million than $2800. Not to mention the inevitable lawsuits which will cost them another ~$2.8 million in attorneys’ fees and payouts and additional bad and lingering publicity. Does United not give enough authority/discretion to its employees to solve problems like these?

And now let’s talk about the “apology,” which I intentionally put in quotes because it really was more of an airline-speak statement.
China contingency planAccording to Psychology Today (which is what I always use when I am playing psychologist), you only get one chance to make an apology without sounding excessive. Therefore, you need to nail it with your one chance. And United Airlines most certainly did not. Let’s break down this apology.

  • It starts out saying this is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. Really? This is nearly the equivalent of saying, you having to witness your mother dying really makes me feel bad. Why is United focusing on how this has impacted United rather than on how it impacted its own passengers? Not smart.
  • I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Really? I did not have sexual relations with that woman. When you apologize, you should personalize it and humanize it. This “apology” fails on all accounts. It does not constitute an apology for the way a passenger was dragged off a plane nor does not apologize for United having overbooked the flight. It is in the passive voice; rather than say I apologize for our having…., it makes it seem as though United had no choice but to do what it did. But United did have a choice as it could have paid more money to get passengers off. This is a classic non-apology. And what the heck does re-accommodate mean anyway? Is this airline-speak, because it sure as hell isn’t the way the normal people I know speak. Using industry buzzwords is a classic way to create distance and yet this is a time when United should be doing everything it can to reconnect with its customers.
  • “Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. Your mother froze in the cargo hold, but don’t worry, we will move with a sense of urgency to work with others to review what happened. What the heck does this even mean? 1. Why say “sense of urgency” instead of just “urgency.” Another example of trying to create distance. Why talk about working with others? Why say “to review what happened” instead of to determine and report back on what happened. Most importantly, you are the CEO of United Airlines, have you not watched the video? Isn’t there enough there to say that the situation was handled poorly? Should he not at least have referred to what happened?

Now as a lawyer I know that an apology constitutes an admission that can be used against you in a court of law, but surely Munoz could have said something more clearly and more compelling than this. Munoz just really never takes responsibility for the problem. He never takes ownership of it. And don’t think apologies don’t matter. Many years ago, I spoke at a terrific lawyer conference on the cutting edge of law. I remember one of the speakers (I apologize because I do not remember his name) gave a great talk on crisis management and he used MLB pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Petitte as the examples. Both Clemens and Petitte had been accused of using performance enhancing steroids. Clemens vigorously denied having done so and essentially accused those who said otherwise of being liars. Petitte pretty much immediately owned up to his mistake: I used them, I should not have, I am sorry, it will not happen again. How many baseball fans know Clemens used steroids and dislike him for having done so? Way more than with Petitte. I can hear this crisis management speaker saying “Munoz should have emulated Petitte here.”

Our China lawyers often have to deal with PR imbroglios. The below are some of the following:

1. A client makes a product that many consumers would not want others to know they use and it has its Chinese manufacturer ship this product direct to the consumer who orders it and when the order goes out an email from the Chinese manufacturer goes out saying that the product has been shipped. This email appears to come from our client and usually — of course — this email goes out only to the one person who ordered the one product. But one day it inadvertently went out to every single person who had ever ordered the product and it went out to all of these people in the “to” line so that everyone else could see everyone else’s email address. We and our client immediately went into overdrive and sent out an email apologizing for the problem, owning up to it, assuring that it would never happen again, and offering a substantial discount on any future orders within the next year. This apology email went to one person at a time and it went out within 15 hours of the incident. Our client got hundreds of responses back to its own email and almost all of those responses were appreciative of how quickly and decisively it had acted. They got a few emails from people saying that they would never buy from our client again, but that was it.

2. Many years ago, a company that made ultra-high end outdoor equipment at prices about double of any of its competitors came to us because its Chinese manufacturer had sold product that our client had rejected as defective — let this be a lesson as to why your China manufacturing contract should clearly provide exactly what happens to rejected product. Anyway, the defective product had found its way to the United States and many many buyers of it had come to our client to ask for a replacement per our client’s 100% replacement guarantee. Our client said that the defective products were not theirs and they were right as the defective products were actually counterfeits. Our client wanted us to research its legal obligations to replace the defective product. My response to them was as follows: Look, we can charge you a lot of money to legally support your decision not to replace the defective equipment, but might you not be better off paying to replace it and maintaining your great reputation than paying us to fight against replacement and perhaps irreparably harming your reputation. The client said “umm” and that they would get back to me on how to proceed. They chose to replace and I have always thought that was a wise decision.

I could go on and on with real life examples but it would be a lot more productive for you to create your own worse case scenarios for your own business. 

Back in the golden age of China blogging, Will Moss (now the Director of Reputation Management at Intel) had a terrific blog called ImageThief, that focused (at least sometimes) on China public relations. He did a post once on how foreign companies need to prepare beforehand for their China PR disasters and I saved the key lines from that post and I repeat them to you below now:

Be prepared to respond fast. Silence often equals guilt in the eyes of the public. Have an issues management kit that anticipates possible crisis scenarios in place beforehand. Don’t rely on guidance from overseas headquarters.

Pay close attention to the tone of public communications. Address concerns. State positions. Don’t condescend or talk down to Chinese audiences.

Get everybody on the same page. Limit public comments to the minimum number of spokespeople and throttle unauthorized communication.

Brief employees so they know what is expected of them and how to respond to media queries, ambushes, etc.

For consumer brands, ongoing monitoring of the Internet is a good idea. Internet scandals are often flashes-in-the-pan, but they can erupt into the mainstream. It’s better not to be caught by surprise.

Great advice isn’t it? And it applies worldwide.

What are your thoughts?

On Tuesday, April 18, China Law Blog’s Dan Harris will be speaking on China IP at the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong. This summit is designed to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to create and build an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business.

How to protect your China IP eventDan will speak on protecting your intellectual property from China, focusing on the following:

  • How to choose the right China manufacturer
  • How to identify the IP assets you need to protect
  • How to structure your China manufacturing deal
  • How to drafting your China manufacturing contracts to protect your IP
  • What you should know about trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licensing agreements
  • What to do when you’ve been copied

Forbes listed the Global Sources Summit in its top twelve conferences you should attend in China. You can register for the event here. Group discounts are available.

 

 

China US tradeChina’s President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with President Trump later this week at Mar-a-Lago and trade issues are expected to be at the top of their agenda. President Trump has already warned on Twitter that this meeting “with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits … and job losses.”

President Trump’s tweet shows how he views China primarily through a US-China trade imbalance lens, linked to American job losses. Trump’s trade worldview ignores the surpluses in trade in services and T-bills the US has with China. He also disregards jobs created by U.S. manufacturers that use inputs imported imported from China to produce higher value added products in the United States. See China. Friend Or Foe? Opportunity Or Challenge? Or, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? President Trump also refuses to acknowledge (or recognize?) that the United States has lost more jobs to automation than to trade with China. Focusing too much on US-China bilateral trade deficits is an incomplete and misguided way of looking at a far more complex US-China trade relationship.

President Trump also seems to believe China will be willing to renegotiate terms with the US because it is so dependent on the US market. Though China does see the US as a very good and very important market for its goods, it is also true that China exports to all corners of the world and its home market consumer demand is also rapidly growing. China will not agree to massive trade concessions out of a desperate need for access to the US market.

President Xi also likely will be able to use this meeting to score points for his constituents back home. He will almost certainly demand that the U.S. treat China as a market economy, as promised fifteen years ago in the US-China WTO Accession agreement, even though he knows there is no way the U.S. will grant China market economy status under President Trump’s watch. China thus far has not overreacted to any of Trump’s blustery threats and has instead patiently waited to see what specific trade actions Trump orders. Until President Trump orders 45% tariffs on all Chinese imports or labels China a currency manipulator, President Xi will almost certainly continue taking what the international community will view as the high road and just keep firing off missives about how no one wins in a trade war. If though President Trump takes strong concrete actions against China at this week’s meeting, you can be certain China will quickly retaliate by taking its own trade action.

President Xi likely sees this meeting as an opportunity to elevate China’s standing as a more reasonable global market player than the United States and if President Trump continues to antagonize its global trading partners, China becomes a more attractive alternative trading partner. Loans from the China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China already have become the a very important source of foreign financing throughout Asia, Latin America and Africa. If Trump wants the U.S. to scale back from participating on the global stage, China is more than willing to step up and try to fill the void.

There will be plenty of posturing and both sides will get the sound bites they want to satisfy their core constituents at home, but it’s not clear what, if any, specific tangible takeaways either side will get from this meeting. Time will no doubt tell and we will be reporting back.