Donald Trump to order investigation into Chinese trade practices

  • Donald Trump to order investigation into Chinese trade practices

Donald Trump to order investigation into Chinese trade practices

"The President would sign an executive memorandum that directs the US Trade Representatives (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to determine if it is consistent whether to investigate any of China's laws, policies, practices or actions that make unreasonable or discriminatory or may be harming American intellectual property, innovation of technology", a senior administration official told reporters.

"The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of U.S. intellectual property", a U.S. National Security Council official said.

President Donald Trump has issued an urgent warning to North Korea not to move ahead with its ballistic missile testing.

"I am very disappointed in China", he said on July 29 on Twitter. "But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade".

Trump has escalated his harsh criticism of North Korea for days, tweeting Friday that the USA had military options "locked and loaded".

"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official. Trump made addressing the US trade deficit with China a centerpiece of his campaign a year ago and has suggested raising tariffs on goods from China.

The objective of this memorandum is to ensure American companies and workers are not subject to harmful policies by China in relation to intellectual property and to ensure that America continues to maintain its leadership in technology, an official stated.

"Protection measures against some specific items, such as steel and aluminum, may gain political favors, but are not likely to be of much help to rebalance trade", economists at the Institute of International Finance wrote in a research note this week.

"This is simply not fair", said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

USTR argues Beijing uses a range of practices to force US companies to transfer IP, such as by granting regulatory approvals to drug makers that shift production to China or requiring that the designs of foreign products be replicable in China.

At the end of March, Trump asked the Commerce Department to prepare a report on the causes of the trade deficit, country by country and product by product, in 90 days. An investigation by Lighthizer could possibly lead to tariffs against China and action through the World Trade Organization. The Chinese trade announcement is expected to be part of his agenda. Instead, he is leading the administration is dusting off a variety of powerful and unilateral measures under US trade law, many of which the United States stopped using after the creation of the WTO, which has its own mechanisms to settle trade disputes.

"China's unfair trade practices and industrial policies including forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft harm the United States economy and its workers", a second administration official said.

In the conference call, officials did not rule out working with the WTO or other countries to penalize Chinese intellectual property violations, saying that the portions of USA trade law they are relying on, Sections 301 and 302 of the 1974 trade law, allow them to take a broad range of actions. That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China's dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medial products and robotics.

The U.S. business community, which traditionally lobbied U.S. administrations to take a softer approach toward Beijing to protect access to a profitable market, has shifted toward a tougher stance on China in response.