Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper

Trade war hurts US-China innovation eco-system

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Xinhua, San Francisco :
The trade war started by U.S.  President Donald Trump's administration will hurt the U.S.-China innovation ecosystem, a law professor said Tuesday in Berkeley, California.
Robert Merges, a law professor at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), made the remarks at a panel discussion organized by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology in partnership with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Asia Society Northern California.
The panel of local experts focused on U.S.-China relations involving trade, the technology industry and intellectual property (IP) rights.
Merges hoped "people in the Washington" realized sooner or later the cost of increased trade friction.
"I hope people have an idea of also the enormous benefits that have been created in this innovation ecosystem," he added.
Merges, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, also warned of some dangerous narratives that need to be addressed.
He said the idea was "quite wrong" that everything that is creative and original is made here in the United States, "so we don't need anybody else."
"Do we really want to retreat into insular innovation ecosystems? Do we really think we are going to be better off?" he said.
"Do you think that the rapid economic growth in China has nothing to do with the fact that there's been this mass transportation and flow of people, ideas and money?" he said.
Merges said the U.S. government should encourage the free flow of people, which leads to a lot of creative technologies that are created collaboratively in hundreds and thousands of deals.
As to the protection of IP rights in China, Merges said the Chinese IP law has been reformed, and it is much more sophisticated than it was 10 or 15 years ago.
Merges, who travels to China frequently, noted the enforcement of IP law in China is now much better, and it applies equally to foreigners and domestic Chinese.
"Every day, IP litigation in Chinese courts is increasing very quickly.  U.S. companies win at a higher rate than Chinese domestic companies. That's a fact," he said.

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