US praises Brazil's actions against piracy


By Paulo Sotero, The State of S. Paulo - 31/03/2005

The American government indicated yesterday that the pressure it put on Brazil to adopt more effective policies to combat piracy are beginning to produce results that dispense Washington from adopting the retaliatory measures it threatened, revoking tariff exemptions for Brazilian exports to the United States under the System General of Preference (SGP). Last year, the benefit was given to about US $ 2,1 billion of products exported to the United States, 10% of the total. The final decision on the review of the SGP will be Monday.

"While there is still a discouraging trend towards increased piracy and counterfeit branded products (worldwide), we are making progress in several areas," said an American Foreign Trade official, as he released the annual report on export barriers American. "In the past year we have leveraged the benefits of the SGP to encourage Brazil to strengthen intellectual property protection, and last month Brazil adopted a plan to enforce intellectual property laws."

Representatives of the Brazilian government and business community who have visited Washington in recent weeks told the ministry that the imposition of reprisals, at a time when the country's efforts to combat piracy are beginning to pay off, would be highly counterproductive.

The text of the report on copyright in Brazil is less promising than the statements of employees. He states that enforcement of anti-piracy laws remains “weak” and cites an estimate by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, according to which 75% of the cassette tapes sold in the country are pirated and represent, with fake videos and CDs, a loss of close to US $ 1 billion for the industry. But the document points to the willingness of the two countries to "maintain the dialogue".

The report - a bureaucratic repetition of the list of practices that the United States identifies annually as barriers to its exports in 58 countries and three economic regions - is 672 pages long and has eight on Brazil, but no major news beyond the update of bilateral trade figures . The exchange of goods in 2004 closed with a balance of US $ 7,3 billion favorable to Brazil, an increase of US $ 595 in relation to 2003.