SEATTLE, June 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Trump administration today announced 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, representing the first time the United States government has marked sectors in US-China trade for retaliation as a response to theft of crown-jewel intellectual property. In a public statement, President Trump announced that the measures were targeted toward goods that “contain industrially significant technologies.”

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer applauded the move on Fox News, noting, “It’s thorough. It’s moderate. It’s appropriate.” In a further explanation of the move, he added, “What I want to do is make sure that we protect our technology here at home, that we stop cybertheft and forced technology transfer, and ultimately, remember: ‘China 2025’ is a $300 billion subsidy program. The United States has to be able to counter that.”

Lighthizer noted that the tariffs will initially target 818 items worth $34 billion on July 6, with the potential addition of 284 products worth roughly $16 billion following review and public comment. 

Evan Anderson, CEO of INVNT/IP (Inventing Nations vs. Nation-sponsored Theft of IP), said Friday: “This is a historic moment for the US-China relationship. For 7 years now, we at INVNT/IP have worked to help the American public, private, and government sectors understand the devastating effect and broader implications of Chinese government-sponsored IP theft and predatory trade practices. Today, thanks in large part to the good folks at the Office of the US Trade Representative, we are finally doing something about it. The toolkit of tariffs and trade laws being used by Mr. Lighthizer works well to curtail the efforts of those who would steal crown-jewel intellectual property and sell it back to the United States, harming companies, killing jobs, and reducing tax revenue.”

Added Anderson, “For decades, the US has failed to create economic and trade policy that protects innovative firms in the US from the designs of the Chinese government. This move begins that process. I encourage our allies and trusted partners worldwide to join us by implementing similar policies: we are, as always, stronger together.”

The announcement adds to a growing list of US government efforts to address the illegal industrial, cyber, and technology policies of the government of the People’s Republic of China, including the capabilities of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, to address Chinese government and government-affiliated purchases of US technology; appropriate responses to Chinese government-sponsored firms that break WTO law; and, in the case of Chinese government-sponsored telecom giant ZTE, internationally supported sanctions on third parties such as Iran.

The INVNT/IP Global Consortium™, an SNS initiative, is a network of private firms and individuals that seeks to reduce nation-sponsored intellectual property theft worldwide.

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