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

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2017 12:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A private watchdog says counterfeit goods, software piracy and the theft of trade secrets cost the American economy up to $600 billion a year.

In a report out Monday, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property says the annual losses range from about $225 billion to $600 billion. The theft of trade secrets alone costs the United States between $180 billion and $540 billion annually.

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 $400 billion.

The commission labels China the world's No. 1 culprit. Including Hong Kong, China accounts for 87 percent of counterfeit goods seized entering the United States. The report says China's government encourages intellectual property theft.