China and other rogue nations haven’t let a global pandemic stop them from aggressively seeking advantage against the United States and the developed world. America faces a public health crisis, a dramatic economic slowdown and foreign crocodiles chomping at America’s heels.
In other words, national security remains a priority for a secure U.S. future. The Republican Study Committee in the U.S. House has produced a strategy document that goes to the heart of this. The RSC National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats addresses a range of threats and aggressors.
The report acknowledges the need to shift our approach. “The old way of thinking about China has failed. A strategy limited to trade and economic integration alone has not caused China to democratize or grow less aggressive in its behavior. On the contrary, the CCP has grown more authoritarian and aggressive.”
RSC’s strategy builds on the fact that our economic security is national security. Economic and national security aren’t one and the same, but we can’t have one without the other.
For the U.S. economy to recover, thrive and prosper, it relies upon both individual citizens and private businesses working, inventing, producing, creating, building, competing, saving, investing — doing their respective parts in achieving U.S. industrial competitiveness and creating new wealth by putting food on the table and paying the rent. This requires private property rights and the rule of law to secure those rights.
Importantly, the RSC grasps the critical role of American ingenuity and IP rights in realizing our economic future. It casts a clear eye at China’s multifaceted theft of U.S. intellectual property and sensitive, cutting-edge research.
It notes the threat Chinese aggression presents to U.S. leadership in such areas as 5G wireless, quantum computing, biotechnology and robotics. Rather that decoupling from China, the RSC strategy imposes accountability and transparency. It enables leapfrogging China by such means as open RAN virtual wireless networks.
The House Republican organization thus proposes measures to disrupt Chinese IP theft networks and stratagems, curtail recruitment and proliferation of foreign agents, hold foreign businesses accountable and force changed behavior.
For instance, to discourage foreign countries from choosing predatory-priced Huawei equipment for 5G networks, multilateral entities getting outsized U.S. funding such as the International Monetary Fund would be constrained from lending to countries that lack sufficient security measures in their wireless telecom systems — e.g., that use Huawei or ZTE equipment.
Another example from the RSC paper is improving the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ability to consider cases involving IP theft by foreign cybersnoops. A U.S. firm qua cyberhacking victim would provide evidence of its own R&D being knocked off and imported. The Chinese state-backed company that stole the U.S. firm’s trade secrets, for instance, would bear the burden of proving that it developed the alleged IP-infringing imports from scratch.
The ITC remedy in Section 337 cases is enjoining foreign-made goods that infringe American IP from entering the U.S. market. It’s effectively an injunction — formerly a routine remedy domestically for IP owners seeking to enforce their right to exclude, until the Supreme Court screwed things up. Keeping knockoffs from commercial markets is effective medicine.
Other ideas in the RSC report include blocking IP-thieving, cyberspying foreign companies’ access to the U.S. financial system; requiring state-owned entities to waive sovereign immunity claims under the commercial activity exception as a condition for doing business in the United States; cracking down on Chinese IP thievery schemes such as the Thousand Talents program; and barring foreign students and researchers from working on sensitive, advanced technology projects.
The RSC deserves great credit for devoting attention to the vitally important matter of foreign aggressors stealing America’s technological innovation and thus our innovative edge in both national security and economic progress.