Not a minute too soon. The stealing is getting worse. Politicians naively said admitting China to the World Trade Organization in 2001 would push it toward a free market economy observing the rule of law. Magical thinking.
From the start, China violated WTO rules, knocking off American products and selling them as the real deal. A staggering 88 percent of counterfeit goods seized are from China and Hong Kong, according to Homeland Security. It's like the Chinese thought "free market" meant steal what you want.
Steal it or extort it. American companies doing business in China are pressured to transfer proprietary technology to a local partner. China promised to stop that arm-twisting but broke its word.
Now China is abandoning any pretense of respecting intellectual property. President Xi Jinping's official economic policy, called Made in China 2025, elevates technology theft to official status. The government politely calls it "the assimilation and absorption of imported technology." China plans to steal its way to economic dominance and end dependence on foreign suppliers.
American companies can't thrive under this threat. Our advantage in world markets isn't cheap labor or cheap materials. It's ideas
American Superconductor Corporation was almost put out of business, its stock value driven down 96 percent, when a Chinese wind turbine maker stole its technology and flooded the Chinese market with copies.
But if Beijing's plan proceeds, these U.S. companies will be shut out of China in a decade, and will have to compete in the rest of the world against Chinese companies that stole their technology and enjoy low-cost financing from Chinese state banks