Section 301 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988: A Formidable Weapon in the War against Economic Espionage

Moyer, Marc A. | January 1, 1994

Current debate over appropriate methods for curbing the threat of economic espionage revolves around unilateral and multilateral forms of action. There are two kinds of solutions on which the United States could focus its resources and efforts. One involves “supply side” solutions, such as export controls and individual corporate security. The other requires the use of foreign governments, United States intelligence agencies, and domestic law enforcement mechanisms to remedy the problem.5 Currently, debate exists as to which of these solutions should be emphasized. To a certain extent, the purpose of this comment is to describe the current threat to United States industry from foreign based economic espionage. Within this context, this comment defines the national security threat from economic espionage in economic terms. Consistent with this approach, this comment advocates the use of Section 301 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 19886 as a stop-gap measure to combat the threat of economic espionage until a more thorough and appropriate solution can be achieved.