President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a bipartisan bill that seeks to protect U.S. intellectual property by imposing economic penalties on companies and individuals involved in IP theft.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., introduced the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act, which requires within six months a congressional report that identifies a firm or individual that has provided support for theft of U.S. trade secrets, especially if the theft poses a threat to U.S. national security, economic health, foreign policy or financial stability.
Under the new law, the president must impose at least five sanctions on any firm identified in the congressional report using a comprehensive menu aligned with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, as well as to act on individuals identified in the report to Congress by subjecting them to property blocking sanctions and preventing their entry into the U.S.
Penalties will include procurement sanctions, export prohibitions, property blocking sanctions, prohibition of loans from U.S. and international financial institutions and prohibition of banking transactions.
The House and Senate unanimously cleared the legislation, which includes a national interest waiver, in December.
“In China and other countries across the globe, foreign corporations are working – often in coordination with authoritarian regimes – to steal our cutting edge technologies to gain unfair advantages at America’s expense. This also results in the off-shoring of American jobs and causes harm to our economy and our national security,” said Van Hollen.
“We must act to deter these predatory practices by imposing high costs,” Van Hollen added.