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China, U.S. At Impasse On Trade Talks

China and the United States moved closer to a trade war Saturday as negotiators ended four days of talks without agreement on strengthening Chinese protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents.

Talks will resume on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy said. Without an agreement by Feb. 4, Washington says it will impose punitive tariffs on Chinese goods worth $2.8 billion.

China says it will retaliate by blocking U.S. imports and breaking off negotiations with American companies that want to set up auto, chemical and pharmaceutical operations in China.

The U.S. government wants China to improve enforcement of its laws on intellectual property rights. Washington says 29 factories in southern China are producing 70 million compact discs, laser discs and computer discs every year without paying royalties.

Ken Wasch, executive director of the Software Publishers Association, said the U.S. delegation indicated it would not make concessions just to reach an agreement.

“A bad agreement is worse than no agreement at all,” said Wasch, one of about 10 business leaders from U.S. industries most affected by the piracy who are in Beijing this week to support the U.S. position and press Chinese leaders to strengthen protection.

The U.S. team briefed the business leaders on the talks, described as “very friendly.”

“The U.S. and Chinese delegations are working hard to resolve differences in their positions,” the embassy said in a statement.

The United States also wants China to reduce demand for pirated products by allowing increased imports of American-made films, music and computer products.

Tags: relations