In the Crosshairs: US Takes Aim at Trade Secret Theft

Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday said it would step up diplomatic pressure if tougher laws are needed to stop a wave of trade-secret theft from China and other countries.

"Trade secret theft threatens American businesses, undermines national security, and places the security of the U.S. economy in jeopardy. These acts also diminish U.S. export prospects around the globe and put American jobs at risk," the White House report said.

"Emerging trends indicate that the pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. corporations is accelerating," the report said.

The report offered little in the way of new initiatives for dealing with the threat and didn't specifically name any country as the main culprit. But it listed more than a dozen cases of trade secret theft by Chinese companies or individuals, far more than any other country mentioned in the report.

U.S. corporate victims of the Chinese theft included General Motors, Ford, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Cargill.