Chinese theft of US intellectual property ‘greatest transfer of wealth’ in history

The Chinese theft of American intellectual property, according to a former NSA director, is the “greatest transfer of wealth in history,” likely costing the U.S. upward of $400 billion per year.

“I’ve stated on the record that Chinese attacks into our country is the greatest theft of intellectual property,” Keith Alexander, who served under President Barack Obama, said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. “We need to address those problems.”

In an effort to curtail intellectual property theft, President Trump slapped a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, containing “industrially significant technologies.” In response, Beijing imposed tariffs with $34 billion on 545 American products.

But stopping Chinese intellectual property theft -- and cyberattacks from Russia -- will likely take more than tariffs, according to Alexander, who said the U.S. needs to act proactively in defending its cybersecurity sector.

“We absolutely need to get that right,” he said. “And that’s a partnership between government and industry. We can push back and say to Russia, ‘Don’t hack our elections.’ But they're going to act in their own national interest. We’ve got to fix that problem.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 campaign, and has already issued dozens of indictments for interference in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.