News / USA

White House Unveils New Strategy Against Trade Secret Thefts

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks about strategy to mitigate the theft of U.S. trade secrets,  Feb. 20, 2013.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks about strategy to mitigate the theft of U.S. trade secrets, Feb. 20, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— The Obama administration has unveiled a new strategy to help protect American companies from economic espionage and thefts of trade secrets, an issue linked to intensified concerns about cyber espionage.

Trade secret theft and intensifying cyber attacks targeting U.S. industrial and technological sectors are closely intertwined.  President Obama says they threaten the U.S. economy and national security.

U.S. companies are estimated to have lost at least $300 billion last year according to a recent congressional committee report.

High level meetings at the White House and across the government led to Wednesday's announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials of a dramatic escalation against economic espionage.

Holder said the stakes have never been higher.

"In some industries, a single trade secret can be worth millions - or even billions - of dollars.  Trade secret theft can require companies to lay off employees, close factories, to lose sales and profits, to experience a decline in competitive position and advantage, or even to go out of business.  And this type of crime can have significant impacts not only on our country’s economic well-being, but on our national security as well," Holder said.

Holder said national security impacts include hostile states obtaining data that can endanger American lives, expose energy, financial and other sensitive sectors to massive losses, and leave infrastructure open to attack.

The new strategy aims to increase U.S. engagement and coordination with countries where there are high levels of trade secret thefts; step up information sharing with private companies; and intensify law enforcement and intelligence efforts.

Domestic legislation would be reviewed to improve enforcement, and a public awareness campaign would be intensified about the effects of trade secret theft.

Victoria Espinel is the White House Coordinator for Intellectual Property Enforcement.

"Our status as a global innovation leader is compromised by those countries who fail to enforce the rule of law or international agreements or who adopt policies that disadvantage American companies and American workers including encouraging or tolerating the theft of U.S. trade secrets," Espinel said.

Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats referred to some governments or companies "gaming the system" and pursuing "downright illegal" policies to gain competitive advantage.

Protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, he said, remains "a serious and highly troubling issue," one raised consistently at a high level with China.

"Our message is actually quite clear.  The protection of intellectual property rights and trade secrets is critical to all rights holders, whether they be from the United States or whether they are for Chinese companies as well or for other companies around the world," Hormats said.

In 2012, President Obama announced establishment of a new enforcement office to challenge unfavorable trade policies, including intellectual property violations and subsidies to favored industries.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says President Obama is very concerned about all threats to the U.S. economy and national security.

"It is something that is very much on the president's mind.  It is why the president has urged Congress to act appropriately on cyber security legislation and why again today we are calling on Congress to act," Carney said.

Carney said an executive order President Obama signed to bolster defenses in crucial American industries against cyber crime needs to be followed by new congressional legislation.

Cyber security threats were thrust back into the headlines after a Virginia-based cyber security firm (Mandiant) released a report linking attacks to a unit of China's military.  

China denied allegations of any high level involvement.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid