As the world’s largest economies threaten tit-for-tat tariffs, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro tore into Chinese trade practices aimed at stealing American companies’ intellectual property.

U.S. officials have long complained that intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs.

“China has targeted America’s industries of the future,” Navarro said Tuesday citing aerospace, robotics, and artificial intelligence as technologies threatened by Chinese cybertheft.

“If China successfully captures these emerging industries of the future, America will have no economic future and its national security will be severely compromised,” he said adding that “economic security is national security.”

For the Pentagon, there is no better example of Navarro’s comments than America’s most expensive weapons system: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

On October 26, 2001, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth more than $200 billion to build the next-generation stealth strike fighter.

The Pentagon’s request was colossal: Develop a fifth-generation aircraft capable of replacing four existing kinds of U.S. military aircraft that also satisfies the needs of international partners.

What’s more, design three variants of the fighter in order to accommodate the unique missions of each sister-service branch: the F-35A for the Air Force, F-35B for the Marine Corps, and F-35C for the Navy.

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