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News from U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
For Immediate Release: April 20, 2006
Contact: Chris Chichester, 202-228-5843


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today released the following statement in response to Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States:

“Small business owners in Maine and across our nation are fighting to remain competitive with countries such as China that flagrantly disregard intellectual property rights. Specialized shoe manufacturer New Balance grew so concerned with the magnitude of this problem that they were forced to file suit against ‘New Barlun,’ a Chinese shoe manufacturer that sells nearly identical shoes.

“While I am pleased that progress was made during last week’s U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings, China must better protect U.S. intellectual property. The massive distribution of pirated music, movies, software, pharmaceuticals and manufactured parts has led to lost jobs, lost royalties and lost sales for American businesses – small and large. I call upon law enforcement agencies from China and the United States to ramp up their efforts to develop and prosecute intellectual property cases. Fraudsters and thieves must be held accountable for intellectual property crimes.”

Last week Senator Snowe joined a bipartisan group of 16 Senators in a letter that urged the Chinese government to take action and redress violations of intellectual property rights. Senator Snowe has also introduced The Fair Currency Practices Act, legislation to force nations to live up to their international obligations and stop undervaluing their currencies.

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