Article 39 is an important innovation in the protection of intellectual property under international law. It is “the first multilateral recognition of the essential role that trade secrets play in industry”38 and “the first multilateral agreement that explicitly obliges member countries to provide protection”. “Trade Secrets”. 39 A commentator on the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations concluding the WTO treaty noted: “The inclusion of trade secrets in the TRIPS Agreement has been hailed as an important innovation.” 40 In Washington, there is a growing bipartisan view that Chinese trade practices are a problem because these practices are unfair to U.S. companies in many ways. But there is disagreement on the appropriate response. Can multilateral institutions be helpful in this regard? Or is unilateralism the only way? Given the rapid growth of China`s economy after 1978, the explosive growth of its trade, and its ability to attract record amounts of foreign direct investment, it is not immediately clear that China`s leaders see World Trade Organization membership as essential to the country`s economic future. Given the apparent success of what might be called superficial integration, why did leaders decide to bear the costs of a much deeper opening of the economy to international trade and investment? This issue is all the more confusing given that the scope and depth of the requirements for market participants in the formal international trading system have increased considerably since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which have considerably broadened the agenda by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property and some aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has concluded agreements on information technology, basic telecommunications services and financial services. Accession to the WTO now implies the liberalization of a much wider range of national economic activities, including the areas traditionally considered by most countries to be the most sensitive than was necessary for countries that joined the organization that preceded the WTO, the GATT. Until the 1970s, the Chinese economy was administered by the communist government and kept away from other economies.

Alongside political reforms, China began opening up its economy in the early 1980s and signed a series of regional trade agreements. China was granted observer status with the GATT and began work towards joining the organization in 1986. China sought acceptance as a founding member of the WTO (which it would confirm as a global economic power), but this attempt was thwarted because the United States, European countries, and Japan called on China to reform various tariff policies first, including tariff reductions, market opening, and industrial policy. China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 11 December 2001[1] following the approval of the Ministerial Conference. [2] China`s admission to the WTO was preceded by a lengthy negotiation process and required significant changes in the Chinese economy […].