WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a co-sponsor of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, today released the following statement following strong, bipartisan passage of the legislation:

“Protecting trade secrets is an extremely important component to helping our American companies – including our farmers and agribusiness – keep a competitive edge in an increasingly globalized marketplace.

“American agriculture, especially in Iowa, is a growing target for espionage as we continue to build on advancements in seed and crop sciences that increase the quality, quantity, and availability of a sustainable food supply. The fact that our technology is sought by competitors all around the globe underscores the importance of guarding against theft within our agriculture biotech industry.

“With these concerns in mind, I’m pleased to support the Defend Trade Secrets Act. This legislation aims to help victims quickly cut through a web of legal and governmental bureaucracy to recover their losses. By creating a federal private right of action for the theft of trade secrets, this bipartisan proposal empowers our companies to retain their competitive advantage both here at home and abroad.

“Furthermore, this is an important step toward ensuring our agriculture biotech sector remains a strong and growing industry, as well as freeing up these job creators to focus on innovation instead of trying to keep their proprietary technology out of the hands of thieves.”

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