U.S. unveils plan to tackle trade secret theft from China, others

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:21pm EST

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk speaks at a news conference during the 23rd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington in this file photo taken December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk speaks at a news conference during the 23rd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington in this file photo taken December 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts/Files

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday said it would step up diplomatic pressure and study if tougher laws are needed to stop a wave of trade secret theft from China and other countries in a strategy that offered few new ideas for dealing with the threat.

"Trade secret theft threatens American businesses, undermines national security, and places the security of the U.S. economy in jeopardy. These acts also diminish U.S. export prospects around the globe and put American jobs at risk," the White House report said.

"Emerging trends indicate that the pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. corporations is accelerating," the report said.

The report did not specifically name any country as the main culprit. But it listed more than a dozen cases of trade secret theft by Chinese companies or individuals, far more than any other country mentioned in the report.

U.S. corporate victims of the Chinese theft included General Motors, Ford, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Cargill.

(Reporting By Doug Palmer; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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