China’s Restrictions on the Internet: Actionable Trade Barriers?

Time:  Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

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The Chinese government monitors use of the Internet, censors the content of information available online, and imposes firewalls to block access by Internet users to search engines and other websites. The purpose is to control the flow of information to Chinese citizens. These practices have raised human rights concerns in the international community. At the same time, such practices have serious economic consequences, including for U.S. IT companies in the Chinese market. It is argued that China’s practices violate obligations that China assumed under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) when China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WT0). Invoking a provision under GATS, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently requested detailed information from the Chinese government regarding its control of the Internet. Come hear officials of the Executive and Legislative Branches and industry representatives discuss China’s restrictive Internet practices, the impact those practices have on U.S. firms, and the potential WTO implications.

This Off the Record Luncheon Program is sponsored by the International Trade Committee of the International Law Section and in co-sponsorship with the Washington Foreign Law Society.

Remarks made during “Off the Record” programs may not be used for publication.

D.C. Bar Conference Center
1101 K Street, NW, Conference Center
Washington DC 20005

Sections Office 202-626-3463

Keith Loken, Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State (Moderator)
Jonathan McHale, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce Policy, Office of the United States Trade Representative
Morgan Reed, Executive Director, Association for Competitive Technology
Matthew Schruers, Vice President, Law and Policy, Computer & Communications Industry Association
Jayme White, Staff Director, Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, United States Senate

CLE Credit

Government and Non-profit Employees $12.00
International Law Section $15.00
Law Students $12.00
Non-Section Members $25.00
Washington Foreign Law Society $15.00

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Posted February 15, 2012 in: Reminders