After Years of Stealing American Trade Secrets and Jobs, China Must Face Consequences

President initiates three-pronged approach to prevent ongoing intellectual property theft.

In response to China's lengthy record of intellectual property rights (IPR) violations, President Trump initiated actions on Thursday that are designed to hold Beijing accountable. The actions include proposed tariffs, a case at the World Trade Organization, and an investigation into Chinese investments in the United States.

The announcement comes after an August order Trump signed that directed the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to investigate China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. A recent USTR report found that "the protection and enforcement of trade secrets in China is a serious problem" and highlighted concerns with the Chinese government and military infiltrating American computer systems "for the purpose of providing commercial advantages to Chinese enterprises."

Violations of IPR by Beijing cost American jobs. American companies are restricted from exporting to China. The alignment of innovation, design, and production of advanced technology products becomes grossly distorted, and U.S.-based companies lose market share. 

A new Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) resource outlines the need for action due to years of China's forced technology transfer, discriminatory licensing restrictions, state-coordinated technology acquisition, and cyber-theft. 

Said AAM President Scott Paul: 

“There’s no disagreement that China cheats. The only question is, do we continue to ignore China’s cheating or do we finally act decisively to stop it? The same experts who assured us China would reform when it entered the world trade system are now saying tariffs won’t work.

"Companies that have benefited from shipping jobs to China are screaming the loudest. We shouldn’t listen to any of these bogus complaints against tariffs. If China doesn’t play by the rules, it should lose some access to the U.S. market, which it values the most.

"Manufacturers of everything from computers to metals have been forced to compete against the very products they spent years and significant financial resources to develop after Chinese companies illegally lifted proprietary knowledge.

"We have a large trade deficit in advanced technology products and an enormous goods trade deficit with China. We’ve lost millions of good jobs to China. The administration’s proposed actions will help to restore some balance with China, as well as to recreate an ecosystem to innovate, design, and make products here that we can sell abroad.”

To read more about China's ongoing IPR theft, visit AmericanManufacturing.org.