Obama is to meet in California with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week. Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Obama reminding him of legislation addressing cybersecurity threats.
Levin introduced the bill with co-sponsors Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. -- the Deter Cyber Theft Act -- that would require the Director of National Intelligence to produce a watch list of countries allegedly engaged on cyberespionage. The measure would also direct the president to block imports from countries tied to cybercrimes.
"I thought you could refer to this bill in your meeting with President Xi as an example that the U.S. will indeed impose real costs on China should they continue to steal our intellectual property," Levin's letter says.
The Washington Post reported that Chinese hackers stole information about the designs of sensitive military technology. The Chinese government denied the allegations, pointing to shared military commitments with the United States.
Levin said he'd seek congressional action on the proposed legislation this year.