Bipartisan Bill Supports Stronger Intellectual Property Theft Protections

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher/Writer, AAM

U.S.-China trade negotiations in Beijing seem to be pretty genial so far, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s unexpected attendance suggests that the discussions have considerable import.

However, as positive as these talks appear to be, the threats posed by Chinese efforts to steal intellectual property and undermine American industry loom large.  

Back in Washington, senators on both sides of the aisle are sounding the alarm that these threats cannot be neglected during trade talks for the sake of a quick deal.

Growing fear that China and other foreign nations continue to participate in or facilitate intellectual property (IP) theft has inspired the introduction of a bipartisan bill aiming to combat these national security threats.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Jan. 4, would establish a federal office, the White House Office of Critical Technologies and Security, to develop a national strategy combatting state-sponsored threats to U.S. technology. The office would work in coordination with private and public partners.

A strong response to these attacks on U.S. intellectual property and businesses is certainly needed.

Chinese technology giant Huawei has inspired great anxiety for much of 2018 as its access to sensitive communications in America and abroad through its telecommunications equipment, particularly on military bases, could easily compromise national security. 

The Huawei saga continues with a lawsuit launched today by Huawei against a U.S. technology company.

There was no lack of news of intellectual property theft this past year.

In December 2018, the U.S. Navy reported that the Chinese government has coordinated cyberattacks on all branches of the U.S. military. However, hackers appear to be specifically targeting military contractors in their search for information regarding U.S. advanced military technology.

Foreign attempts to breach America’s industries have been ongoing for years. But, more disturbingly, the Navy reports these cyberattacks are increasing in severity and sophistication.  

Said Sen. Rubio in a press release:

“China continues to conduct a coordinated assault on U.S. intellectual property, U.S. businesses, and our government networks and information with the full backing of the Chinese Communist Party. The United States needs a more coordinated approach to directly counter this critical threat and ensure we better protect U.S. technology. We must continue to do everything possible to prevent foreign theft of our technology, and interference in our networks and critical infrastructure.”

The outcomes of U.S.-China trade talks must address the chilling and persistent threat China poses to our national security in addition to leveling the playing field for American manufacturers – not an easy task. Unless China faces consequences for its action, nothing will change.


Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

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