Furlan says the country does homework and criticizes protectionism


Gazeta Mercantil (Caderno A, p.10), 30/03/2005

The minister of Development, Luiz Fernando Furlan, said yesterday, during the seminar “Brazil against Piracy”, promoted by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), that piracy is an unfair competition. However, the minister stressed that "customs, non-customs barriers and subsidies are also very serious, which reduce the competitiveness of Brazil and other countries". The placement was a splinter aimed at US Senator Norm Coleman, chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who also attended the event.

Regarding the minister's statements, the American senator said that Furlan only mirrored reality, and that this matter should be dealt with by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Also according to Minister Furlan, Brazil is doing its homework in the fight against piracy and mentioned that the country is the 11th in the ranking of software counterfeiting, a list led by the United States. As for the possibility of Brazil being excluded from the General System of Preferences (SGP) by the United States, Senator Coleman said that discussions about intellectual property rights are not yet over. Furlan replied: “This would be a mistake. Brazil works to combat piracy and does not deserve any sanctions ”. Brazil exports approximately US $ 3,4 billion in products to the United States through SGP.

Optimistic, the president of Fiesp, Paulo Skaf, believes that the seminar showed the Americans that Brazil is making a great effort in terms of protecting intellectual and industrial property. “We need to join forces to end piracy in the country, which attacks public coffers and damages jobs and causes unemployment. Piracy is a worldwide problem. Legal production loses, almost with counterfeit products by China, almost two trillion dollars a year ”.

Illegal billionaire market

Data from the Ministry of Justice and CPI da Pirataria reveal that approximately 200 thousand people today live from the trade in pirated products. The most affected segments are the electronics, software, toys, optics, phonography, medicine, cinematographic and textile industries. Almost 100% of the pirated products that circulate in the national market come from China, Taiwan, Korea and Paraguay. According to calculations by the National Union of Tax Auditors of the Federal Revenue (Unafisco), the illegal market for pirated products generates around R $ 63 billion per year and the Federal coffers fail to collect around R $ 27,8 billion.