On August 14, President Trump issued a memorandum instructing the United States Trade Representative to consider investigating China’s policies and practices relating to IP theft and forced technology transfers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer promptly opened its investigation pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974. Its notice of the initiation of the investigation of China’s practices relating to IP has now been published in the Federal Register.
Among those applauding the opening of the investigation was is the bipartisan IP Commission, which issued a 2017 report update that spotlighted $225 billion in annual costs to the American economy from international IP theft. Concerns about IP theft in China were of FSF Research Associate Michael J. Horney discussed that update in his blog post: “New IP Commission Report Shows Need for Strong IP Enforcement Efforts.”
In the Digital Age, combating international theft and piracy of American intellectual property (IP) has become increasingly important to enhancing our nation’s economic prosperity. Securing American IP rights abroad is also a constitutional imperative. FSF President Randolph J. May and I explore the philosophical and historical aspects of that imperative in our Perspectives from FSF Scholars paper “The Logic of International Intellectual Property Protection.”