US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said China will offer better legal protection to US firms that suffer theft of trade secrets, Reuters reported.
Pritzker was speaking in an interview Monday after annual bilateral trade talks that yielded scant progress on other topics, including a proposed investment treaty.
Few breakthroughs had been expected ahead of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade talks in Guangzhou, amid tensions over cyberhacking — a topic that had been addressed by both sides in September during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States.
However, the US side, led by Pritzker and Trade Secretary Michael Froman, said after the weekend of talks that China clarified its intent to do more to help firms facing the theft of trade secrets.
“We got significant outcomes on trade secrets, which is a really big issue,” Pritzker said.
“This is where China clarified its intent to make preliminary injunctions and meaningful remedies and other judicial protections more easily accessible to those who are confronting trade secret theft … It’s a big deal.”
The issue has become a growing problem for US firms. Victims have included General Motors, Ford, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Motorola, Boeing and Cargill.
Xi and US President Barack Obama agreed in September that neither government would knowingly support cybertheft of corporate secrets to support domestic businesses, but US experts argue Chinese hackers continue to target US firms.
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