The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its annual list of countries that it claims fail to adequately enforce copyright.
The “priority watch” list includes Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela.
The report (pdf) also contains an extensive list of countries on America’s copyright “watch list”.
“This Report reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain adequate and effective IPR protection and enforcement worldwide,” the report states.
"When trading partners don’t protect IPR, they threaten those critical jobs and exports,” said United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a statement.
The Electronic Frontiers Foundation has labelled the report an “obnoxious” threat to countries to participate in key intellectual property trade agreements, such as Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“By being placed on this list, the USTR hints at the possibility of trade law repercussions," the EFF’s spokesperson Maira Sutton said.
"Although it does not directly lead to imposition of trade sanctions (as is the case for the top Priority Country designation), being put on the watch lists or singled out for an “out of cycle” review does lead to increased scrutiny and bilateral pressure for trading partners to change their laws.”
Australia does not make the USTR’s “priority” or “watch list” and is highlighted as one of the key participants of both ACTA and TPP.