China 'regrets' WTO order on films and music


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 14, 2009 at 12:52 PM EDT

China said Thursday it "regretted" a World Trade Organisation decision ordering it to ease some of its curbs on foreign films, music and print, warning that it might appeal.

The decision from the WTO settlement dispute panel Wednesday said China was breaching international trade rules by blocking foreign-owned companies from acting as importers and wholesalers of films, music and printed material.

"China expresses regret that the panel did not reject the US complaint about the import and distribution of printed material, films and music," commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in a statement.

"China will carefully evaluate the panel's report and does not rule out appealing on issues of concern to the Chinese side," he said in the statement.

The United States, which brought the complaint to the global trade watchdog in 2007, claimed overall victory in the dispute, which also affects Hollywood blockbusters.

"Today, a WTO panel handed a significant victory to America's creative industries," said US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

"These findings are an important step toward ensuring market access for legitimate US products in the Chinese market, as well as ensuring market access for US exporters and distributors of those products."

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