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“Protecting Intellectual Property” against China means redistributing income upward

Summary:
From Dean Baker The New York Times had an article discussing the prospects for U.S. trade relations with China during Biden’s presidency. At one point it tells readers: “Mr. Biden has given few details about his plans for U.S.-China relations, other than saying he wants to recruit American allies such as Europe and Japan to pressure China to make economic reforms, like protecting intellectual property.” Stronger and longer patent and copyright protections have redistributed enormous amounts of income upward over the past four decades, likely more than trillion annually (half of all corporate profits). If Biden plans to put stronger enforcement of U.S. intellectual property claims at the center of his trade relations with China, it means he wants to redistribute even more money away

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from Dean Baker

The New York Times had an article discussing the prospects for U.S. trade relations with China during Biden’s presidency. At one point it tells readers:

“Mr. Biden has given few details about his plans for U.S.-China relations, other than saying he wants to recruit American allies such as Europe and Japan to pressure China to make economic reforms, like protecting intellectual property.”

Stronger and longer patent and copyright protections have redistributed enormous amounts of income upward over the past four decades, likely more than $1 trillion annually (half of all corporate profits). If Biden plans to put stronger enforcement of U.S. intellectual property claims at the center of his trade relations with China, it means he wants to redistribute even more money away from the vast majority of people who voted for him to the richest 10 percent of the population.

That should be a big deal in a news story on Biden’s trade policy towards China.

Dean Baker
Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.

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