Florida lawmakers introduce proposal to stop Chinese espionage, theft of trade secrets


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Gov. Ron DeSantis said over the last decade, the Communist Party of China has been stealing intellectual property from U.S. governmental and academic institutions.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Tallahassee Monday, describing a new proposal that state lawmakers will introduce in the legislative session to address the theft of intellectual property and trade secrets by members of the Community Party of China.

DeSantis said over the last decade, Chinese nationals and governmental agents have been stealing intellectual property from governmental and academic institutions in the United States and in Florida. A new bill would roll out measures to prevent what DeSantis called a “pervasive threat” to the American economy.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls and other members of the Florida House and Florida Senate also spoke about the issue, describing the loopholes that the bill would close. The measure would prevent academic institutions from establishing foreign-language or cultural programs from certain countries, including China, North Korea, Syria and more.

That includes the controversial Confucius Institute, which the state of Florida terminated partnerships with in 2019.

DeSantis also discussed the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which received emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Saturday. Florida is tentatively expected to receive 175,000 doses of the vaccine, possibly later this week, DeSantis said.

The state lawmakers’ 60-day session is set to begin Tuesday.


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