On April 20th, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. introduced Senate bill S. 1245, “The Combating Chinese Purloining (CCP) of Trade Secrets Act.” The full text of the bill is not yet available, but a press release announcing the legislation highlighted key features of the CCP, including:
- increasing the maximum penalty from 5 to 20 years of imprisonment for individuals who use “communication interception devices” to aid a foreign government;
- expanding trade secret misappropriation penalties for foreign persons, including by: the U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposing import restrictions, the U.S. Department of Commerce denying export licenses, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejecting applications for patent protection, and the U.S. Department of State denying visas;
- creating grounds for inadmissibility and deportability for individuals that seek to enter, or remain in, the U.S. to engage in espionage and intellectual property theft; and
- prohibiting the issuance of visas to Chinese nationals who present a national security risk and to prevent their pursuit of graduate-level coursework in sensitive fields.