The White House has come up with a new strategy to combat what it says is a wave of trade secret thefts from China and other countries.
The report lists threats to corporate intellectual property from cyber attacks and more conventional methods of economic espionage.
“As critical technologies have advanced, criminals have adapted accordingly. Our need to keep pace with these changes remains imperative and the stakes have never really been higher. In some industries a single trade secret can be worth millions or even billions, billions of dollars”, Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters.
The report was released one day after a US security company pinned a series of hacking attacks on a secretive Chinese military unit.
Beijing has flatly denied the claims.
Eric Mandia from Mandiant, the company that carried out the research, said: “Every company that is investigating these instances is coming up with the same conclusions. I think Mandiant was not the first to report something like this and we will not be the last”.
The report does not recommend fresh penalities for trade secret theft.
It focuses, rather, on softer measures; applying diplomatic pressure, promoting best practice, reviewing and enhancing law enforcement and increasing public awareness.