US gives Brazil 6 months to defeat piracy


By José Meirelles Passos, O Globo - 05/04/2005

WASHINGTON and BRASÍLIA. Did the United States government give Brazil another six months? did the original deadline expire yesterday? to effectively combat piracy and thus avoid being excluded from the American General System of Preferences (SGP). The SGP allows the entry of several Brazilian products in the USA exempt from import duties.

Was this decision motivated by the fact that the Brazilian government convinced the White House Trade Office (USTR) that the National Action Plan? adopted on the 17th by the National Council for Combating Piracy and Crimes against Intellectual Property? will be rigorously implemented. "The United States believes that these efforts represent a promising change in Brazil's commitment to address concerns about combating piracy, which has existed for a long time, and a new stage for greater cooperation with the private sector," the statement said. of the USTR.

According to the American authorities, Brazil will have until September 30 to fulfill the promise, or it will be withdrawn from the SGP. This, in practice, would affect about 14% of Brazil's exports (about US $ 2,5 billion) to the USA, which today are exempt from taxes.

Itamaraty says that piracy also affects the USA

Itamaraty praised the decision and stressed that the Brazilian government will continue to take measures to combat piracy in Brazil. ? The Brazilian government considers that the closure of the SGP review process granted to Brazil would have been the appropriate measure at this time, which would also reflect the positive level of dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. The defense of copyright is a consolidated objective in the activity of the Brazilian Public Power, which has consistently produced concrete results, despite the shortages of human and material resources ?, says an excerpt from the statement distributed yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Itamaraty stressed that crimes against intellectual property also affect developed countries, such as the USA.

According to the USTR, so far, Brazil's efforts "have not managed to significantly increase the volume of lawsuits and convictions for criminal copyright violations, which is a key element in successfully reducing piracy rates".

The USTR also issued a warning:? The review of the SGP was formally extended to September 30, 2005 to allow time for the new National Action Plan to become effective in implementing copyright and reducing piracy. Will the focus on lengthening the term be on implementing both existing laws and measures recently adopted ?.

The petition to exclude Brazil from the SGP had been made by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which brings together hundreds of American companies.

For foundation, Brazil is not free from "punishment"

The request was enforced a week ago by the Defenders of Property Rights foundation in Washington, arguing that last year the firms had a loss of $ 931 million in Brazil because of piracy.

Yesterday, the president of that foundation, Nancie Marzulla, applauded the decision of the USTR, but warned:

? Brazil should consider this an opportunity to get it right and stop robbing American companies. Brazil is by no means free from punishment. His government has received six months of probation and we will be looking at the progress he will make in this area.

Furlan monitors China

SAO PAULO. Development Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan said yesterday that he had received complaints of fraud and under-invoicing involving the import of Chinese products, but avoided talking about the possibility of setting safeguards. According to him, the government comes? Monitoring day by day? the volume of imports:

? I request that business entities present the matter concretely to the government, so that measures can be jointly assessed to eliminate unfair competition, if any.

The minister, who yesterday participated in the opening of the International Plastic Industry Fair, in São Paulo, explained that goods have been imported with false codes to circumvent the inspection. Furlan also admitted that the loss of exports due to the fall of the dollar is less than projected.

Last week, the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) announced that it will ask the government to establish safeguards against? Unfair competition? of Chinese products. According to Fiesp, only counterfeiting of products and brands represented a loss of R $ 30 billion for Brazilian companies in 2004. It is estimated that 80% of pirated items are imported, mainly from China. (New Aguinaldo)