One of the key trade secret trends in 2020 that was not mentioned by James Pooley in his excellent recap of the year’s trends was the continued focus by the government on Chinese economic espionage. Last year marked the two-year anniversary of the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative,” which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 1, 2018, and which was intended to increase the focus on the investigation and prosecution of trade secret theft and economic espionage under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) and other “unfair trade practices” committed by the Chinese government and Chinese Nationals. The China Initiative reflects the strategic priority of countering Chinese national security threats and reinforces the government’s overall national security plan. The China Initiative is led by the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, which is responsible for countering nation-state threats to the United States.
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