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.
— 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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid