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Chinese mainlanders will have to turn to piracy to watch the latest American blockbusters

China is blocking the import of American films, said MPAA CEO and Chairman Dan Glickman in an official statement released last week.

“Although we have not received official confirmation of such a ban from the Chinese Government or China Film, the indicators are strong that our information is correct,” read the statement. “If such action has been taken … it would represent an enormous step backwards in terms of China’s efforts to develop a strong … and legitimate film exhibition and distribution market.”

In a move that some suspect is retaliation for a recent U.S.-filed WTO complaint over China’s alarmingly high piracy rate, the Chinese government appears to have stopped granting import requests to American filmmakers -- of which it normally allows for about 20 movies per year. According to one anonymous Hollywood executive speaking to The New York Times, the Chinese government became suddenly uncooperative; filmmakers’ movie import requests for early next year have thus far been ignored, delayed, or come back denied.

“We are working with top officials in the US government, including the Treasury Secretary, as well as the Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, both of whom are in China at the moment,” said Glickman. “If these reports are true, it is unacceptable that China has taken this action and we will bring all our resources and leverage to bear to address this situation.”

A spokeswoman from the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, declined to comment on the so-called ban, noting that if such a ban was in place it would have been officially announced on the Administration’s web site.

American filmmakers, many of whom are betting heavily on the growing the Chinese market, say China’s restrictive stance on American movies is a direct contributor to the country’s high piracy rate. The previous 20-movie limit is “a very low number to begin with,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, “and we believe the low number contributes to the problems [we] have in intellectual property rights protection.”

A Chinese ban on American movies “would be very serious indeed,” said Schwab, who at the time was at a Strategic Economic Dialogue meeting outside Beijing. “We have spoken forcefully to our Chinese hosts.”

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RE: sick of china
By feraltoad on 12/19/2007 5:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think every product should be required to have the country of origin's flag displayed on the corner of the FRONT of the product at a reasonable percentage of the package size, say 2%. I think it would really highlight how much we are buying from other countries, and it would make buying American easier. "Hmm destroy domestic manafacturing or save two dollars? What to do..."

RE: sick of china
By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 5:43:41 PM , Rating: 3
The sad part is, most would rather save the two dollars.

RE: sick of china
By Polynikes on 12/19/2007 5:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
In many cases, yeah, that would likely be the case. But I bet a lot of products that were made in China would get a second thought, due to recent reports of dangerous or defective products being made there. Example: Toys.

RE: sick of china
By Malhavoc on 12/19/2007 8:51:15 PM , Rating: 3
I agree that products should be labelled with TRUE country of origin. There are products marked as Product of the USA, but not actually from the USA.

One thing that often happens is bulk produce is purchased from other countries and put it in a box and labelled as Product of USA/State. It is something easily verified during a crop's off-season, especially for some of the highly perishable fruit and vegetables. As far as I am concerned that is gross misrepresentation.

RE: sick of china
By Spivonious on 12/20/2007 8:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
What would you do for the products that have parts made in China, assembly in Mexico, and distribution in Canada, all by an American company?

RE: sick of china
By shurpajack on 12/21/2007 5:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly what is being done by most of the products people are labeling as "from China".

The global economy is no longer 'This Country against That Country'. The benefits of globalization far outweigh the negatives. One benefit: If your economy is tied up in the economy of another country (China and US) you aren't going to go around making hostile militant threats. Globalization leads to better political discourse and diplomacy.

The factors of production in the US are fluid enough that the manufacturing sector losing jobs has not affected the overall economy (look at the growth rate, the American economy is still growing). This is because the people who have lost their jobs due to the supposed outsourcing are finding better jobs somewhere else. We can't expect our economy to always be a manufacturing based one, especially if we are competing in the pharmaceutical and high-technology arenas.

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