Intellectual property rights and us-china trade relations, 2016-2022
Author(s): Chukwuemeka Obasi Igwe and Ogu Esomchi Chris-Sanctus
Abstract: Over the years, global politics has revolved around economic control to seize power and determine who gets what, when and how. This is not farfetched in the global politics between the United States and China glaring trade war that is aimed at dominating and maintaining global relevance. On this note, this study examined Intellectual Property Rights and the US-China Trade Relations between 2016 and 2022. The study specifically investigated the US theft claim of Trade Secrets and violation of trade agreement by China and the US Trade Representative Office imposition of tariff on imports from China. The Neo-realist Paradigm, as articulated by Kenneth Waltz was adopted as a framework of analysis, with its basic assumptions revealing that: firstly, the global system is viewed as completely and always anarchic, and war is a possibility at any time. Secondly, States tends to seek for their own survival as this is a requirement to pursue other goals. Thirdly, States are deemed similar in terms of needs but not in capabilities for achieving them. The study employed the documentary method of data collection and analysed the generated data using content analysis, while the time series research design was adopted. Our findings revealed that the US government has not been able to adequately establish China’s violation of trade agreement especially the originality of claimed Trade Secrets theft by China; also, the US government has not been able to adequately gain dominance despite their strict trading measures on the Chinese government as China still holds a significant value in global economic order and still a major threat to US relevance and dominance. The study therefore, strongly recommends a strict adherence to the provisions of the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement by both parties as established by the World Trade Organisation and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.