Barr takes aim at China during Grand Rapids speech

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The country’s top law enforcement official spent some time in Grand Rapids Thursday to talk about the economic threat he claims is being posed by China.

This is one of a series of talks high-ranking administration officials are giving, concerning what they see as China not playing by the rules of international trade. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to give another soon.

An invited crowd of business leaders, higher education representatives and law enforcement listened to Barr as he talked about ways he says China tries to beat the system. News 8 Political Reporter Rick Albin also spoke with Barr one-one-one on Thursday.

“The Chinese communists have been on a campaign of stealing American intellectual property. 80% of industrial espionage in the United States is done for the benefit of China. We’re seeing an increase in these cases. They’ve been going up for a long time and all the critical technologies. This is part of the Chinese plan to become the number one technological power in the world, but they’re doing it by stealing our technology, when they steal our technology and know how they’re stealing the future,” Barr said.

“Of the American people, they’re stealing the future of our children and grandchildren because it’s been our technological prowess. It’s created all the prosperity we have and the opportunity we have for future generations,” Barr continued.

The attorney general went on to say that tracking and stopping such activity is everybody’s responsibility.

“The primary responsibility and the people who can be most effective are the American companies and academic institutions themselves. They’re the ones right there who can help us identify who the bad actors are and can, and also the first line of defense to make sure that our technology doesn’t fall into the hands of Chinese graduate students or others that are actually working with the Chinese communist party.”

Barr said he chose Grand Rapids in part because of President Fords involvement in with Chinese relations during his time in Congress and the White House.

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