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IP Theft Costs US $300 Billion Per Year: Report

A private advisory panel says growing intellectual property theft, mainly by China, is costing the United States more than $300 billion each year.

The report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property recommends tougher U.S. action to address the issue, including economic sanctions, import bans and blacklisting from financial markets. This non-partisan panel, made up of former high-ranking U.S. officials, says the president's national security adviser should help lead the response to the theft of trade secrets.

Panel co-chairman Jon Huntsman says Washington's current strategy is not sufficient, and does not provide enough negative incentive for those who would engage in IP theft.

Huntsman, a former U.S. ambassador to China and Republican presidential candidate, said President Barack Obama should prominently raise the issue next month during meetings in California with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

U.S. officials have become more vocal in recent months in explicitly accusing China's government of involvement in cyber hacking and online theft attempts against U.S. targets. China has angrily denied the accusations, saying it also is the victim of hacking attempts by the United States.

The report issued Wednesday cautioned that only a portion of stolen U.S. intellectual property is taken by online hackers. It said much of the theft occurs the "old-fashioned way," including through equipment theft, bribery or pirated software.

While the report said China is responsible for up to 80 percent of the intellectual property theft, it also identified Russia and India as countries where IP theft originates.