The United States will ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) to examine restrictions on the sale of U.S. films, music, books, magazines and newspapers in China, an agenda for an upcoming WTO meeting showed on Thursday.
In its complaint, Washington says China unfairly limits who can import and distribute entertainment products, including movies for theatrical release.
"It also appears that foreign individuals and enterprises ... are accorded treatment less favorable than that accorded to enterprises in China with respect to the right to trade," the U.S. complaint reads.
China will have the right to block the initial panel request at the October 22 dispute settlement body meeting. Upon a second request, the probe would be launched automatically.
Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have increased dramatically over the past year. The United States is pursuing other WTO disputes against China over issues including car parts, government subsidy programs, and piracy against U.S. films and branded goods.
China has also launched a case against the United States over U.S. anti-dumping measures limiting Chinese paper imports.