Counterfeiters, hackers cost US up to USD 600 billion a year

WASHINGTON, Feb 26: Counterfeit goods, software piracy and the theft of trade secrets cost the American economy as much as USD 600 billion a year, a private watchdog says.
In a report out today, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property says the annual losses range from about USD 225 billion to USD 600 billion. The theft of trade secrets alone costs the United States between USD 180 billion and USD 540 billion annually. Counterfeit goods cost the United States USD 29 billion to USD 41 billion annual; pirated software costs an additional USD 18 billion a year.
The findings echo those of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which in 2015 pegged the annual cost of economic espionage by computer hacking at USD 400 billion.
The commission labels China the world’s No. 1 culprit. Including Hong Kong, China accounts for 87 per cent of counterfeit goods seized entering the United States. The report says the Chinese government encourages intellectual property theft.
The commission is led by former Republican presidential candidate and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who also served as US ambassador to China, and Adm. Dennis Blair, a former director of US national intelligence.
“The vast, illicit transfer of American innovation is one of the most significant economic issues impacting US competitiveness that the nation has not fully addressed,” Huntsman said. “It looks to be, must be, a top priority of the new administration.” (AGENCIES)