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The US Navy is establishing a council to combat economic threats like intellectual property theft and exploitation of the supply chain, which undermine the Navy and Marine Co

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro stressed the urgency of forming the Maritime Economic Deterrence Executive Council in response to foreign actions jeopardizing the Navy’s technology and supply chain. Del Toro elaborated on the threats, stating, “exploiting supply chain vulnerabilities, adversarial capital investments in companies developing technologies that are critical to our fleet and our force” and “intellectual property theft” are “concerted actions designed to weaken our competitive advantages.”


Vice Adm. Francis Morley, alongside Chris Diaz, Del Toro’s chief of staff, will co-chair the council, which also includes experts from the research and development, supply chain, and intelligence sectors. Del Toro said the council “will focus on mitigating adversarial foreign investment risks, innovation and technology protection, supply chain integrity initiatives, and the coordination and protection of research efforts across both the government as well as the private sector.”

At the council’s inaugural meeting, Morley highlighted the significance of collaborative effort, noting, “each community has been taking its own steps to protect intellectual property, research and supply chains, but that they could accomplish more working in tandem.”

This new council aligns with broader Biden administration efforts to strengthen the defense industrial base and the innovation sector against economic espionage and supply chain disruptions. Recent actions by President Biden include the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which seeks to boost American semiconductor manufacturing.


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