BSA Proposes New Strategy for US Trade Relations with China

Dec 01, 2010, 13:27 ET from Business Software Alliance

As ministerial negotiations near, BSA urges the Obama administration to focus on hard targets for increased software sales that can be measured and verified

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the leading advocate for the global software industry, today outlined for senior officials in the Obama administration a new strategy for trade relations with China that would substantially increase exports from US software companies that have been effectively shut out of the Chinese market by widespread piracy.

"In past trade negotiations, China has agreed to take steps to reduce software piracy. What we need now is an accord that focuses less on commitments and more on achieving tangible results," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. "Such an approach would represent an important strategic shift. It could substantially boost US sales and exports to China, which would help spur economic activity and create jobs in both countries. It would be a win-win."

In a series of meetings with Obama administration officials on Wednesday, the general counsel of 14 BSA member companies detailed how a results-based trade deal could work in practice. They called for boosting US software sales and exports to China by 50 percent in two years; ensuring critical legal tools are in place to curb piracy; establishing a system for independently verifying that legalization commitments are being met; and suspending discriminatory "indigenous innovation" polices that require foreign firms to transfer intellectual property to Chinese companies as the price of market entry.

"It is time for a new strategy for US trade with China because software companies are bleeding there," said Holleyman. "Our research shows that 79 percent of applications installed on personal computers in China last year were pirated instead of being legally purchased. The commercial value of that pirated software was $7.6 billion in 2009 — a figure that has nearly doubled from $3.9 billion in 2005."

Holleyman and general counsel from BSA member companies met Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Treasury Department and the Department of Justice. Locke and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk are scheduled to lead a US delegation in ministerial negotiating sessions of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT)on December 13-14 in Washington. The JCCT is one of two major forums where officials from the United States and China come together to address bilateral trade issues.

BSA welcomed recent announcements from China that authorities will step up an IP enforcement campaign to ensure government agencies are using legitimate software. "Recent actions by the Chinese government are encouraging because they pave the way for successful trade negotiations later this month," said Holleyman. "There is an opportunity for the parties to achieve an accord that sets clear targets for US software exports to China, which we can measure in increased sales."

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry, working in 80 countries to expand software markets and create conditions for innovation and growth. Governments and industry partners look to BSA for thoughtful approaches to key policy and legal issues, recognizing that software plays a critical role in driving economic and social progress in all nations. BSA's member companies invest billions of dollars a year in local economies, good jobs, and next-generation solutions that will help people around the world be more productive, connected, and secure. BSA members include Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, AVEVA, AVG, Bentley Systems, CA Technologies, Cadence, Cisco Systems, CNC/Mastercam, Corel, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, Minitab, PTC, Progress Software, Quark, Quest Software, Rosetta Stone, Siemens, Sybase, Symantec, Synopsys, and The MathWorks.

SOURCE Business Software Alliance