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China rounds up the usual suspects
At the end of the movie Casablanca, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) shoots Nazi Major Strasser so that Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) can escape. Although French Police Chief Renault had just witnessed the shooting, when his men arrive he tells them, "Round up the usual suspects."
Life sometimes imitates cinema. China just rounded up the usual suspects. Their crackdown on copyright crimes is timed for President Hu's visit to the United States from January 18-21. AsiaOne reports (China detains 4,000 people in copyright crackdown):
Wow! The number of arrests is three times higher than last year's roundup! According to ip-sharing.com:
The 2010 National Trade Estimate published by the office of the United States Trade Representative makes it clear that the United States is aware of China's strategy. China delays sales of the legitimate items while allowing this piracy of U.S. CDs and DVDs. The relevant section of that report begins:
When Presidents Obama and Hu meet in Washington next week, President Obama should tell President Hu that trade between the two countries had better move rapidly toward balance, or he will impose tariffs to force it into balance. The ideal tariff would be a scaled tariff whose duty would take in 50% of our trade deficit with China. The duty rate would go down as China takes down its tariff, non-tariff, and currency-manipulation barriers to U.S. products.
President Obama must choose between pretend free trade and balanced trade. If he chooses pretend free trade, he will be able to watch a pirated-version of Casablanca in his hotel room next time he goes to China. If he chooses balanced trade, he will revive the American economy.
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