One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
In Reality, stealing is bad. In Washington, D.C. – it is the operational model. A feature – not a bug.
So it is understandable that when a Donald Trump campaigns for President in part on halting theft abroad, DC Conventional Wisdom (which is neither conventional nor wisdom) – is that he will lose the election. His introduction and insertion of Reality – is utterly alien to the DC Geniuses.
The theft Trump highlighted with the greatest frequency – is the $600 billion (and likely more) per annum in intellectual property (IP) theft in which China and the rest of the world engages.
We invent and create things – and they steal them. Which does egregious damage to our economy now. And it is a woeful disincentive to our continuing to invent and create things – which does egregious damage to our economy going forward.
Some Reality for the DC Challenged. If you’re a farmer, will you plow and plant, fertilize and till – if any and everyone can steal your crops after the fact? Of course you won’t. This is yet another example to be emplaced in my proposed DC Department of Duh.
So if we wish to continue to have an economy – we have to protect our intellectual property. Trump understands this, even if DC doesn’t.
Trump also understands that perhaps the best way to address this grand larceny – is via trade negotiations. Which brings up another example of DC Dumbness against which he campaigned.
We have for decades cut trade deal after trade deal with the IP theft likes of China – and rarely if ever deigned to even mention in any of the negotiations their rampant thievery. If it was brought up, it was by people with scrunched, wincing faces – and only in rapid passing. And it was never viewed by anyone as an actual impediment to the next one-sided, America Last trade deal to be cut.
In Reality – that’s just dumb. In DC – that’s “free trade.” Trump has for decades been pointing out that this particular “free trade” emperor – is stark naked. And campaigned on exactly the same. Which was another reason the DC Geniuses all thought he would lose huge. Because this too was utterly alien to them.
But Surprise! – Trump won. And trade conditions – have already started improving all over the world. And as a part of the improvements – Trump is setting his sights on IP theft: “President Trump on Monday instructed the office of the United States Trade Representative to consider an investigation into China’s sustained and widespread attacks on America’s intellectual property. This investigation will provide the evidence for holding China accountable for a decades-long assault on the intellectual property of the United States and its allies.”
Hallelujah. But lest we forget or pretend otherwise – US IP isn’t subjected only to international heist. There is also domestic thievery aplenty. Mix in a little international manufacture of the domestic IP theft – and you get US company Apple wantonly, rampantly stealing from US company Qualcomm.
Apple: ‘We Won’t Pay You. We’ll Keep Using Your Stuff – But We Won’t Pay You’: “Qualcomm has some patented items which Apple needs to make its iPhones and cellular iPads. Qualcomm and Apple negotiated an agreement – where Apple would pay Qualcomm in exchange for permission to use the patented items. Lawyers drafted contracts – and representatives from both Apple and Qualcomm signed them.
“End of story, right? Of course not. This is Brave New America – where even blatantly obvious obligations can and will be willfully ignored….
“Apple told Qualcomm it will stop paying licensing revenue to contract manufacturers of the iPhone, the mechanism by which it’s paid the chipmaker since the best-selling smartphone debuted in 2007, the San Diego, California-based company said in a statement.”
Make no mistake – and let us not allow any DC Whitewash – Apple is massively stealing from Qualcomm. And because Apple manufactures most of their iPhones overseas (mostly in oh-so-IP-friendly China) – Apple has since April been importing huge numbers of stolen goods for domestic sale.
This is absolutely no bueno. Qualcomm has responded in eminently reasonable fashion.
Qualcomm Files Lawsuit Seeking Apple iPhone US Import Ban: “Qualcomm has asked U.S. trade regulators to ban iPhone imports along with other unnamed products, and to stop the sale of (what has) already been imported….”
That was in early July. In early August…:
U.S. to Review Qualcomm’s Complaints about Apple iPhone Patents: “U.S. trade officials have agreed to investigate Qualcomm Inc’s allegations that Apple Inc infringed on patents with its iPhone 7 and other devices, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Tuesday. The ITC will make its decision “at the earliest practicable time” and will set a target date for completing its investigation within the next 45 days….”
That clock continues to tick. Here’s hoping Trump’s Reality Revolution in DC hits here too. And that we start calling a thief a thief – and acting accordingly.
[Originally Published at RedState]