Has US Been Hypocritical to Ukraine on Piracy Issue?


Long-time senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Peter Hannaford has advised the United States Trade Representative to focus its attention on China’s violations of intellectual property rights, instead of Ukraine.  Writing for the leading conservative publication, The American Spectator, Hannaford writes:  “The U.S. government’s Special Trade Representative, has used a double standard in its annual report on protection of intellectual property. For the first time in seven years it has singled out one country, Ukraine, as a ‘priority country’… The USTR report overlooks the fact that the Chinese government turns the other cheek to the fact its country is the world’s leader in the piracy of intellectual property, including the things listed above and also manufactured items in many other fields critical to the U.S. economy.  Days after the USTR’s report, the co-chairmen of an independent, nonpartisan Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, Adm. Dennis Blair, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence and Jon Huntsman, former Ambassador to China, noted in the Washington Post, ‘U.S. software manufacturers… lost tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually from counterfeiting just in China, where the problem is most rampant.’ Yet, the USTR singled out Ukraine’s significantly smaller piracy problem.”

Hannaford notes that the Ukrainian government has recently taken steps to combat intellectual property theft.  “The cabinet of President Viktor Yanukovych recently asked parliament to strengthen and broaden protection of intellectual rights in the country. A draft law was submitted in mid-May. It would have the State Intellectual Property Service issue to applicants control marks — holograms confirming compliance with copyrights. The service would record the date of issue of a mark, its series and number. Suspected violations would be brought to the Service’s attention for remedial action,” writes Hannaford.

In his commentary, Hannaford argues that trade sanctions against Ukraine would have an adverse effect on overall U.S.-Ukraine relations: “A negative outcome [of the USTR investigation] could lead to sanctions that would cripple U.S.-Ukraine trade and also lead to a withdrawal of foreign investment into that important country, sandwiched as it is between Russia on the east and Poland, Hungary, and Romania on the west. As it works hard to stabilize its democratic political system and its economy,Ukraine seeks to be on good terms with its neighbors and, importantly, the U.S.”

Long-time senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Peter Hannaford is one of America’s top conservative commentators.  His latest book is Reagan’s Roots: The People and Places That Shaped His Character.

The American Spectator: “Another Double Standard” http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/31/another-double-standard

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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