April 30, 2021
Grassley, Whitehouse Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Keep IP Thieves Out of the Country
WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today introduced legislation making foreign nationals engaged in the theft of U.S. intellectual property and other sensitive proprietary information inadmissible to and deportable from the United States.
The Stop Theft of Intellectual Property Act makes foreign nationals deportable and inadmissible if they are found to have violated laws preventing the export of certain goods, technology or sensitive information, or laws related to economic espionage and the theft or misappropriation of trade secrets.
“For years, hostile regimes, especially the Chinese Communist party, have sought to infiltrate, replicate and abscond with sensitive U.S.-based research and innovation to the detriment of our businesses and scientists. The CCP and others have targeted researchers in an apparent effort to steal and disrupt critical achievements, like the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. That selfish and dangerous campaign is not welcome in this country,” Grassley said.
“Adversaries like Iran and China have proven they’ll use whatever means possible to steal American intellectual property, trade secrets, and other valuable information. We need to erect as many deterrents as possible, from countermeasures in cyberspace to strong penalties in American law,” Whitehouse said.
The Justice Department last year charged multiple Chinese nationals suspected of working with the Chinese government to breach networks in the United States and steal trade secrets and intellectual property, including COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine research. Russia and Iran have also targeted American companies, laboratories and universities to steal research and intellectual property.
Under the Stop Theft of Intellectual Property Act, foreign nationals targeting sensitive U.S. information in the public or private sector, including academia, would be prohibited from entering or remaining in the United States. The bill would also require an annual report to Congress about the individuals determined to be inadmissible or deportable for IP theft.
Grassley and Whitehouse are also examining ways to screen federal grant applicants to better identify researchers seeking to misappropriate intellectual property
Stop Theft of Intellectual Property Act