Chinese businesses, executives involved in cyber espionage of US businesses targeted in bills in Congress

by Chris Zappone

Republican congressman Mike Rogers wants to put prohibitions on Chinese products and executives linked to cyber-espionage, according this PBS report. The move would impose a high cost on the businesses that profit from trade secrets.

Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has proposed legislation that would deny issuing visas to Chinese citizens involved in cyber-theft, and freeze their assets, too.

This is all about making sure that those actors that we can identify — and believe me we can identify them — they there is a cost for their cyber-espionage.

In the Senate…

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin and three Senate co-sponsors want to take the profit out of cyber-crime. They have introduced legislation that block products that use stolen intellectual property from entering the U.S. market.

The move to “hit people in their wallet” creating a “remedy that bites” could, if implemented, create all sorts of new issues – and even new markets. But as the BRICs economies rise, the question is, would the US be excluding itself from
beneficial trade. Or, would the US start down a path that would divide the global economy.

It’s possible that foreign countries that are also victim of China’s economic espionage would adopt the restrictions, as they can. In that scenario, you can see the balkanization of technology happening.

With swaths of Chinese designed routers, car components, and other high-end technology outlawed in the US, a new market would emerge for products that meet the criteria. 

Enforcement would be difficult too. But the fact that they are talking about this in the House and Senate shows the potential allure of such bans. It’s telling that both the bills sponsors are from Michigan – a manufacturing state – and one is a Republican while the other is a Democrat.