Piracy: US must postpone retaliation against Brazil again


By Aguinaldo Novo, O Globo - 30/03/2005

SAO PAULO. The United States government must once again postpone the decision to retaliate against Brazil for allegedly allowing the sale of counterfeit products and not fighting crimes against intellectual property. The nomination was given yesterday by the American senator Norm Coleman, who participated in a seminar organized by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) on the losses of piracy in the country. The deadline for the announcement of possible sanctions expires tomorrow.

The United States threatens to exclude Brazil from the General System of Preferences (SGP), which provides for a reduction or total exemption from import duties on a series of products sold to Americans. In the case of Brazil, there are about 300 products, which generated revenues of US $ 2004 billion in 3,5 in 15? XNUMX% of exports to the USA.

? There is still no conclusion on this matter and I believe that the deadline will be postponed yet again? said Coleman, who chairs the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sitting next to the senator during the seminar, Development Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan said that Brazil is? Doing its part? and that as harmful as the counterfeiting of brands is the imposition of subsidies and trade barriers to hinder the export of Brazilian products to the USA:

? Senator, I would like you to convey to your peers the message that unfair competition through subsidies from the most varied in agriculture and in some industrial sectors, including in the aviation area, has the same effect as unfair competition created by piracy, fraud and falsification.

Furlan added that the crime of piracy is worldwide:

? Every time I travel to the USA, am I amazed at how easy it is to buy bags and watches on the streets of New York? shot.

In the minister's opinion, the senator's visit will generate a report showing that Brazil is working to combat piracy and is not worthy of sanction:

? If the USA happens to adopt this path (the sanctions), it will be a mistake and a great disincentive for the work being done, coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.

Coleman avoided getting into controversy and said that Furlan's words reflect a reality "that must be dealt with in the context of the WTO (World Trade Organization)". Americans complain that in 2003 alone, their companies lost US $ 785 million with pirated Brazilian products.

Country under pressure

José Meirelles Passos, Correspondent

WASHINGTON. A foundation representing US intellectual property rights holders has filed a petition with the White House Trade Office (USTR) requesting Brazil's withdrawal from the US General System of Preferences (SGP). If the order is accepted, the equivalent of 14% of Brazilian exports to the USA, exempt from taxes, would be taxed. "Abuses against intellectual property rights committed under the leadership of President Lula threaten the vigor and growth of the American economy," said Nancie Marzulla, president of Washington's Defenders of Property Rights foundation, in a statement.

In an interview with GLOBO, she added that "Brazil has a terrible record of abuse in this area".

? I have the hope that if the USTR sends this message to Brazil, removing it from the System, the country will also be concerned with the protection of its own property rights? stated.

The USTR has received several other documents and there is strong pressure to punish Brazil.