WASHINGTON – The Bush administration, unhappy with what it views as rampant copyright theft, said Wednesday it will seek a special review of China's efforts to crackdown on production of pirated music, movies and other U.S. products.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the violations of intellectual property rights in China," U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman (search) said in announcing the action.
The United States was joined in the request for a special review under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (search) by Japan and Switzerland.
"If China believes that it is doing enough to protect intellectual property, then it should view this process as a chance to prove its case," Portman said in a statement. "Our goal is to get detailed information that will help pinpoint exactly where the enforcement system is breaking down so we can decide the appropriate next step."
U.S. business groups have been lobbying the administration to bring a formal WTO complaint against China's enforcement of intellectual property rights, a step that could lead to economic sanctions against China (search) if the U.S. won its case.
The request for the review could result in the gathering of information that the United States could use in a formal WTO case against China.