China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property is hurting small businesses: The IP Commission

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China retaliates to Trump tariffs

The IP Commission co-Chair Admiral Dennis Blair discusses China’s unfair trading practices and whether Beijing will start a trade war with the U.S.

China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property is undercutting small businesses across the country, according to Admiral Dennis Blair, co-chair of The IP Commission.

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Blair told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster that a small sprinkler irrigation company in Walla Walla, Washington, Nelson Irrigation Corporation, had its propriety design stolen by a Chinese company.

“They are now selling them back over into the American market, over the internet, using titles like Chinese Nelson,” he said.

President Donald Trump authorized a plan to slap new tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese goods Thursday, targeting 1,300 items.

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The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that the U.S. economic cost from counterfeit goods, pirated software and the theft of trade secrets by China is as high as $600 billion annually.

Blair said China’s intellectual theft was perceived in the past as an “adolescent phase” of a developing economy. However, the world’s second-largest economy has advanced its tactic of intellectual property abuses.

“We face Chinese companies with a choice here, Ashley. Either you steal our property or you can use our market,” he said. “You can’t do both.”

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