Intellectual property theft is a growing problem that the government needs to crack down on for the good of American companies, says Huntsman and Blair.

Former-Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to china John Huntsman, Jr., along with former director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, recently published an op-ed on the Washington Post highlighting the crisis American business is facing from the failure of governments and companies to protect intellectual property rights.

“We agree with Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, that the ongoing theft of U.S. intellectual property is 'the greatest transfer of wealth in history.'” With intellectual property being one of America’s biggest industries, the failure to properly protect is having staggering consequences on the U.S. economy, Huntsman and Blair say. “The scale is staggering. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, which we co-chaired, estimates that the total revenue loss to U.S. companies is comparable to the total value of U.S. exports to all of Asia.”

The American government needs to step up its game and stop foreign companies from stealing the work of homegrown companies. “So far, our national response to this crisis has been weak and disjointed … The Obama administration has made some progress in raising this issue with foreign governments, but more needs to be done.”

Huntsman and Blair list everything from companies going out of business, IT companies paying more for security that doesn’t work and even the military unintentionally buying pirated parts as reasons to crack down on intellectual property theft. But one of the biggest takeaways as to why we should drastically step up our measures to stop the theft is actually job creation: “The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated in 2011 that if IP protection in China improved substantially, U.S. businesses could add 2.1 million jobs.”

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach me at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews