Recent news reports featured President Trump’s March announcements that he planned to levy tariffs on America’s trading partners. This would include a tariff of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. One trading partner that would be seriously impacted by the tariffs is China. In an article entitled “Trump Announces Strict Tariffs Against China” from the website called Medium, former Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Kamil Idris, discusses the rationale behind these tariffs.
The United States Trade Representative in 2017 stated that the yearly theft of American intellectual property by China amounted to losses of between $225 million and $600 billion. Tariffs of $50 billion on U.S. imports from China would be intended as a penalty for the theft of American intellectual property. The United States is not alone in trying for decades to rein in China’s actions of counterfeiting products and stealing trade secrets. The problem has been exacerbated by China’s more recent activity in pressuring foreign businesses to give them access to their technology to be allowed to continue trading with China.
There is great concern expressed by some in the United States government as well as from our allies that Trump may be instigating a trade war that could have unfavorable consequences. Some have speculated that the fear engendered in the stock markets could cause recessions. In the past, the U.S. and China have tried negotiations, composing an MOU (memorandum of understanding) that China would agree to put an end to piracy actions. Several years later a review would be done showing unsatisfactory results. Another, firmer MOU would be enacted, with possibly the same outcome.
Arbitrating international controversies has been a specialty of Professor Kamil Idris. He is a lawyer from Sudan who served as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization from 1997 to 2008. He is a renowned member of The Permanent Court of Arbitration which was founded in 1899 as an alternative means of finding peaceful resolutions to international disputes. His expertise and passion for resolving conflicts make him greatly in demand for resolving delicate disputes on many official levels.