In the extensive coverage of liability issues concerning potentially injurious Chinese-origin products, few commentators have focused on how entering into a treaty on enforcement in China of U.S. products liability judgments might offer added protection to U.S. consumers.
Under 19th-century precedent, Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U.S. 113 (1895), the United States generally enforces without requiring reciprocity civil money-damages judgments from China and other countries. U.S. courts require only that the foreign court had proper jurisdiction over the defendant, gave the defendant adequate notice and afforded the defendant an opportunity to be heard in an impartial proceeding with fair procedures. In short, an injured Chinese consumer may, in principle, enforce in a U.S. court his Chinese judgment for money damages caused by defective products exported to China by a U.S. manufacturer.
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