Americans get a taste of their own medicine

23 March 2010
Yesterday, SM reported that US suppliers trading in China fear losing business as a result of a proposed new procurement rule which would favour domestic vendors. Under the “indigenous innovation product accreditation” system, public sector buyers would give preference to products developed in China – where China owns the intellectual property. The trademark of the product must also be registered in the country. According to the research conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham-China), 57 per cent of its 2,600 member companies expect to lose out as a result of the rule. However, it was only a little over a month ago that the US finally surrendered to pressure and granted its Canadian neighbours exemption from its own “Buy American” provision, which had required US states and municipalities to only purchase US-produced goods. It seems while America is happy to write so-called “protectionist” policies into its own procurement law to bolster domestic trade, it doesn’t like being on the other side of limited market participation. In this case, though, the US is not alone in fighting the plans, which have raised serious concerns globally. It will be interesting to see how this international spat pans out.
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