Trump to call for China trade investigation

12 August, 2017, 22:49 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Rep. Roskam says Trump's 'lack of ambiguity is helpful' on North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump will call on Monday for his chief trade adviser to investigate China's intellectual property practices, website Politico reported, citing an unnamed administration official. Such an investigation easily could last a year.

The investigation would not mean immediate sanctions, but could ultimately lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, Politico said. "What they may not know is that China is also forcing and coercing American companies that operate in China to turn over their technologies".

Trump's action amounts to a request that his trade representative determine whether an investigation is needed under the Trade Act of 1974.

An official continued on to say that there is more than $600 billion of intellectual property theft against US companies with China responsible for a huge portion of that.

Trump is to make a day trip to Washington tomorrow, briefly interrupting his 17-day working vacation, a White House official said on Friday. The Trump administration is insisting the move isn't tied to heightening tensions with North Korea, but it is inherently connected to complications in the region.

And then on Thursday, when speaking with reporters, Trump said in relation to North Korea, "if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade".

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis.

The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of US companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the USA government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea. Yet the two leaders did not discuss this latest action in a phone conversation Friday night, and officials told reporters on Saturday that addressing intellectual property theft has been on their agenda since the president took office.

"Trade is trade, national security is national security", the official stated. In April, he said he wouldn't label China a currency manipulator, in return for help in dealing with North Korea.

When reports of the potential trade investigation first emerged more than a week ago, China's Commerce Ministry stressed the importance of U.S.

As a prime example of what the officials called China's "unfair trade practices", they objected that the country requires American businesses that want to operate there to form joint ventures with state-run companies and share intellectual property with them.

The United States has previously complained at the WTO about Chinese trade policies, including its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which seeks to have Chinese-made materials account for 70 percent of manufacturing inputs within the next eight years.

Similarly, the president also asked for a review about whether steel and aluminum imports were jeopardizing national security.

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