House approves Foreign Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act

From the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator …
Sent Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:22 PM …

I am pleased to report that the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 6029 the Foreign Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act of 2012 last night. This is an important piece of legislation that will ensure that the penalties under the Economic Espionage Act correctly take into account the harm inflicted on U.S. companies that fall victim to this crime by individuals on behalf of a foreign government. The threat to U.S. business by economic espionage coordinated by foreign governments is of particular concern to the Administration. The misappropriation of trade secrets can cripple a company’s competitive advantage in foreign markets, diminish export prospects around the globe, and put American jobs in jeopardy. The passage of this legislation is an important step in providing tougher penalties and serves as deterrence to individuals who would pass trade secrets to foreign governments.

The passage of H.R. 6029 could not have been achieved without the leadership of outgoing House Judiciary Committee Chairman – Representative Lamar Smith and retiring Senator Herb Kohl. I would also like to thank the members and staffs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees who worked in a bipartisan and bicameral manner to pass this bill and send it to the President. H.R. 6029 captures the spirit of the legislative recommendation my office transmitted to Congress on behalf of the Administration in March 2011. The Administration recognizes the important roles that trade secrets and intellectual property play in the U.S. economy, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to improve enforcement of U.S. intellectual property laws.

Best wishes,

Victoria Espinel
U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
Executive Office of the President


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