Pakistan among 20 trading partners placed on US ‘watch list’

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Pakistan is among 20 trading partners which have been placed on the ‘watch list’ of the US government. Though, these states merit bilateral attention to resolve basic intellectual property problems.

This year’s “Special 301” publication of the US Trade Representative (USTR) says that more than 100 trade partners for the 2022 special report have been reviewed and 27 of them were placed on the ‘Priority Watch List’.

USTR is the annual evaluation of the worldwide state of intellectual property protection and enforcement.

In accordance with the sources, USTR made the review pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as revised by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

Read more: Pakistan and United States relaunch Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

The report further illuminates, “Pakistan remains on the trading partners Watch List for 2022, though Pakistan has maintained a positive dialogue with the US on intellectual property matters and engaged in meaningful capacity building and training programmes to promote IP protection and enforcement in Pakistan.”

Moreover, the report conveys that however, serious concerns remain, mainly in the area of IP enforcement. Piracy and counterfeiting continue to spread widely, including with regard to printed works, digital content, pharmaceuticals, and software. Reports of various cable operators providing plagiarized content are also prevailing.

Pakistan has amended its Internet Protocol (IP) laws, which is the set of instructions controlling the format of data sent through the internet or local network.

In this regard, the USTR report says, the US motivates Pakistan to undertake a transparent and fair process that provides stakeholders with suitable opportunities to comment on draft laws. As Pakistan executes its 2020 law and regulations on geographical indications (GIs), it is essential that Pakistan tries to make sure transparency and procedural fairness in the protection of GIs, including the guarantee that the grant of GI protection does not deprive concerned parties of the ability to use common names.

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