The United States will go after foreign websites that pirate American music and movies as part of a new national strategy to stop sales of counterfeit and pirated goods, Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday.


“This is theft, clear and simple,” Biden said at a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other Cabinet officials to discuss the new strategy, which also includes steps to reduce piracy and counterfeiting within the United States.


“It’s ‘smash and grab,’ no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany’s and reaching in and grabbing what’s in the window,” Biden said, referring to the jewelry store in New York City.


U.S. businesses estimate they lose billions of dollars annually due to piracy and counterfeiting of items including films, music and consumer goods, and blame the illegal trade for U.S. job losses as well.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has battled to close websites in Russia, China and other countries that sell pirated American music and films.