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Thursday, January 20, 2011

WH fetes China's president while his factories pump out billions in counterfeit goods

While we were toasting China's President Hu Jintao at the White House yesterday with steak and Cabernet, his nation's factories continued to pump out billions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods that were being sold right on the street in lower Manhattan and across the nation on the Internet.

US Customs officials have determined that 90 percent of these fake goods, from pharmaceuticals to knock-off handbags, originate in China's factories -- robbing US firms of profits and workers of jobs.

Small businesses, like David Pearl's Uniweld, are fighting an uphill battle against the counterfeiters.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based manufacturer of high-precision pressure gauges used by mechanics and refrigeration repairers said he loses about $1 million a year to the pirates.

But intellectual property rights got short thrift at Hu's official state visit with President Obama yesterday, with security and currency issues getting top priority.

Indeed, the only real concession Obama wrangled from Hu was a promise that Chinese state agencies would audit their software libraries in a bid to purge their own pirate files.

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