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Thailand removed from US Priority Watch List

Dec 16. 2017
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
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By The Nation

After more than a decade, Thailand has been removed from the US Priority Watch List (PWL) for intellectual property policies and enforcement due to “corrective actions” the country has taken.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) has now added Thailand to the lower Watch List (WL) category.

“We welcome the corrective actions that Thailand has taken and look forward to continuing to work with Thailand to resolve our remaining IP concerns,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement released on Saturday (Thailand time).

“A key objective of the Trump Administration’s trade policy is ensuring that US owners of intellectual property [IP] have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their IP around the globe,” said Lighthizer.

In light of Thailand’s progress, the USTR is closing the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Thailand, that was initiated on September 15, 2017, and is moving Thailand from the Special 301 Priority Watch List to the Watch List, the statement issued by USTR Office said.

The statement said the Trump Administration has been closely engaging with Thailand on improving IP protection and enforcement as part of the bilateral US-Thailand Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

This engagement has yielded results on resolving US IP concerns across a range of issues, including on enforcement, patents and pharmaceuticals, trademarks, and copyright, the statement said.

Before meeting US President Donald Trump in early October, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered relevant agencies to prepare information, including solutions to copyright infringement and Thailand’s status in the Special 301 Report for him to take up with US authorities.

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