US introduces legislation on trade secret thefts

Allegations of intellectual property stealing by China

AgenciesUpdated: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 12:49 AM IST
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Several US senators on Tuesday introduced legislation aiming to make it easier for businesses that believe they are victims of intellectual property theft to block imports made with their trade secrets. The move came in response to allegations of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies. The bill was introduced by Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democratic Senator Christopher Coons would amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to create a new committee at the US International Trade Commission, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The panel, led by the US attorney general, would look into the allegation of trade theft waged by a competitor that has the backing of a foreign government. The allegation could be made by the owner of intellectual property who submits statements under oath or by the attorney general’s office itself.

The bill would apply to imports of any country, but backers say it comes largely in response to allegations of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies. “Foreign governments like China make billions of dollars annually by selling goods and technology made from stolen US trade secrets,” said Cornyn.

Bicameral law to ban use of facial recognition tech by govt

Led by Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a group of US lawmakers has introduced a bicameral legislation to stop government use of biometric technology, including facial recognition tools, which they said violates the privacy of citizens and "deepens racial bias" in policing.

The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act, introduced on Tuesday, responds to reports that hundreds of local, state and federal entities, including law enforcement agencies, have used unregulated facial recognition technologies and research showing roughly half of US adults are already in facial recognition databases.

While Jayapal along with Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives, Senators Edward J Markey, Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden introduced it in the Senate.

Bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday okayed

The Senate has passed a bill that would make Juneteenth, or June 19th, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US. The bill, passed on Tuesday, would lead to Juneteenth becoming the 12th federal holiday. It is expected to easily pass the House, which would send it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

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