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November 06, 2019

Inhofe, Wicker Urge Trump to Hold Chinese Technology Companies Accountable

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Commerce Committee respectively, sent a letter to President Trump, urging him to address the willful decision by Chinese technology companies refusing to pay lawful intellectual property licensing fees to U.S.-based businesses for use of proprietary technology as part of his trade negotiations with China.

The chairmen write in part: “By refusing to pay these licensing fees, Chinese companies instead use the billions of dollars they owe to outpace U.S. and other market-based companies in the development of future wireless networks and the technology standards necessary to creating them. If Chinese companies are allowed to remove the profit incentive for standards-based wireless research without repercussions, we will soon globally face the undesirable reality that the only companies conducting this research will be those in non-market economies that do not share our values or have our best interest in mind.”

The full letter is available here and below.

Dear President Trump,

We write to inform you of our growing concerns related to multiple Chinese wireless equipment manufacturers' ongoing refusal to pay lawfully owed licensing fees to U.S. developers of standards-based wireless technology.

International companies are expected to adhere to the law. This decision by Chinese wireless equipment manufacturers not only undermines faith in a world-recognized system of license fee payments, it also exposes the ambition of certain Chinese companies to unfairly seek an advantage over other law-abiding companies. In doing so, these Chinese companies demonstrate a clear, systematic attempt to dis-incentivize standards-based wireless research and development by U.S. and other Western market-based companies. By refusing to pay these licensing fees, Chinese companies instead use the billions of dollars they owe to outpace U.S. and other market-based companies in the development of future wireless networks and the technology standards necessary to creating them. If Chinese companies are allowed to remove the profit incentive for standards-based wireless research without repercussions, we will soon globally face the undesirable reality that the only companies conducting this research will be those in non-market economies that do not share our values or have our best interest in mind.

Sadly, these Chinese companies can export to the U.S. and sell countless wireless products such as mobile phones, computers, and TVs even though many of these products do not have the proper licenses for the technology housed inside of them. We must change the ability of Chinese companies to access the U.S. market while simultaneously eroding the ability of U.S. and other Western market-based companies to maintain their leading role in the research and development of advanced wireless technology.

You have already recognized the importance of domestic advanced wireless research to the national security of the United States and the values it upholds to remain a strong leader in the deployment of SG, and all the advanced wireless technology research and development still necessary to achieve global leadership. The refusal by Chinese companies to pay lawfully owed licensing fees to U.S. developers of advanced wireless technology while maintaining their ability to export _and sell their products here in the United States is a bad deal.

We urge you to address this flagrant and willful decision by Chinese companies to ignore the intellectual property rights of U.S. and other Western market-based companies as a part of your ongoing trade negotiations with China. Until Chinese companies respect these intellectual property rights, we urge you to refrain from rewarding them with any extension-of an existing Temporary General License or their removal from the Entity List. It is imperative for our national defense and for our Nation's deployment of advanced wireless technology.

We stand ready and willing to provide any assistance you need to secure our intellectual property and protect American innovation.


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