Defense execs back Trump's move to investigate Chinese theft

By Marjorie Censer / August 15, 2017 at 11:14 AM

In a statement, the chief executive of the National Defense Industrial Association today praised President Trump's new effort to stem Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property.

On Monday, Trump said during a White House event he has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to "examine China's policies, practices, and actions with regard to the forced transfers of American technology and the theft of American intellectual property."

NDIA chief Hawk Carlisle said Chinese theft has taken a toll on U.S. national security and economic productivity.

"Our innovators are the envy of the world, but they simply cannot compete against a Chinese Communist Party-led strategy to steal their ideas and their technological breakthroughs," he said.

Tom Kennedy, Raytheon's chief executive, attended Trump's announcement at the White House Monday and was handed the pen Trump used to sign the memo on addressing China's laws and policies.

In a document provided by the White House, Kennedy said in a statement that Raytheon applauds Trump's initiative.

"State-sponsored intellectual property theft is a problem for the U.S. defense industry and our military capability," Kennedy said. "It poses both economic and national security concerns."

In the same document, Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics' chief executive, said the effort "comes at a critical juncture."

"The threat to our intellectual property is real and increasing," she added. "We see these types of threats in our defense and commercial aerospace businesses."

Also lending their support were Wes Bush, CEO of Northrop Grumman; Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin; and Roger Krone, CEO of Leidos.