By THE SUNDAY NATION
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Friday released the 2017 “Special 301” report, reviewing global developments on trade and intellectual property (IP) and identifying trading partners with harmful records on protection, enforcement, or market access for US innovators and creators.
The USTR said that the United States is prepared to review the PWL status if Thailand continues taking positive steps and makes substantial progress in addressing its concerns.
These include widespread availability of counterfeit and pirated goods, lack of effective and deterrent enforcement measures, a backlog in pending patent applications, and widespread use of unlicensed software in the public and private sectors.
Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the Thai government was committed to combating IP violations and, judging from the USTR statement, it might remove Thailand from the PWL this year.
The government also has a 20-year IP road map for dealing with the issue effectively, she said.
Thailand, which has been on the PWL since 2007, and another 10 countries on the list will be the subject of intense bilateral engagement during the coming year, the USTR said.