Bipartisan Bill Supports Stronger Intellectual Property Theft Protections

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher/Writer, AAM

U.S.-China trade negotiations in Beijing seem to be pretty genial so far, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s unexpected attendance suggests that the discussions have considerable import.

However, as positive as these talks appear to be, the threats posed by Chinese efforts to steal intellectual property and undermine American industry loom large.  

Back in Washington, senators on both sides of the aisle are sounding the alarm that these threats cannot be neglected during trade talks for the sake of a quick deal.

Growing fear that China and other foreign nations continue to participate in or facilitate intellectual property (IP) theft has inspired the introduction of a bipartisan bill aiming to combat these national security threats.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Jan. 4, would establish a federal office, the White House Office of Critical Technologies and Security, to develop a national strategy combatting state-sponsored threats to U.S. technology. The office would work in coordination with private and public partners.

A strong response to these attacks on U.S. intellectual property and businesses is certainly needed.

Chinese technology giant Huawei has inspired great anxiety for much of 2018 as its access to sensitive communications in America and abroad through its telecommunications equipment, particularly on military bases, could easily compromise national security. 

The Huawei saga continues with a lawsuit launched today by Huawei against a U.S. technology company.

There was no lack of news of intellectual property theft this past year.

In December 2018, the U.S. Navy reported that the Chinese government has coordinated cyberattacks on all branches of the U.S. military. However, hackers appear to be specifically targeting military contractors in their search for information regarding U.S. advanced military technology.

Foreign attempts to breach America’s industries have been ongoing for years. But, more disturbingly, the Navy reports these cyberattacks are increasing in severity and sophistication.  

Said Sen. Rubio in a press release:

“China continues to conduct a coordinated assault on U.S. intellectual property, U.S. businesses, and our government networks and information with the full backing of the Chinese Communist Party. The United States needs a more coordinated approach to directly counter this critical threat and ensure we better protect U.S. technology. We must continue to do everything possible to prevent foreign theft of our technology, and interference in our networks and critical infrastructure.”

The outcomes of U.S.-China trade talks must address the chilling and persistent threat China poses to our national security in addition to leveling the playing field for American manufacturers – not an easy task. Unless China faces consequences for its action, nothing will change.


Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.


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