President Donald Trump may roll out a long-expected initiative to investigate China’s trade practices on Monday, with emphasis on alleged intellectual property theft, two administration sources told NBC News.
“China’s unfair trade practices and industrial policies, including forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft, harm the US economy and workers”, a second official told reporters.
In a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two leaders reaffirmed their shared desire for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
A possible move by the United States to launch an investigation into China’s unfair trade practices based on Section 301 of the Trade Act has Taiwan anxious because many of its products sold to the USA are processed or assembled in China.
President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.
Trump has sought to leverage trade and North Korea with China for months, initially expressing optimism after hosting Xi at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, only to later grow discouraged that Beijing was not following through. He said it would be premature to speculate on actions that could eventually be taken against China, and added that the issue could be resolved through “negotiated agreement”. The effort has reached a decisive point with the overt threats of USA military action against North Korea – warnings clearly meant for Beijing’s ears.
“This is a critical action, and long overdue”, said Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S.
They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China. While China joined in a unanimous United Nations Security Council decision to tighten economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its long-range missile tests, it is not clear whether Mr Trump thinks Beijing is doing enough. They said that USA companies had long suffered because of Chinese intellectual-property violations, and that they expected Congress and the business community to support the measure.
“If Americans continue to have their best technologies and intellectual property stolen or forcibly transferred off-shore, the United States will find it hard to maintain its current technology leadership position”, they added. “Those activities haven’t abated; they’ve accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets”, he said.
But even though the effectiveness of the new United Nations sanctions depends largely on China’s willingness to enforce them, the Trump administration has failed to come up with enough incentives to compel China to do so, analysts said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before Trump’s formal announcement.
The results of three separate investigations into trade deficits and the national security threats posed by imports of steel and aluminum, initially expected by the end of June, have yet to appear.
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a popular trade tool in the 1980s that has been rarely used in the past decade, allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect USA industries from “unfair trade practices” of foreign countries.
-China trading relationship. But analysts have cautioned that Trump faces a huge challenge in his desire to significantly reduce the US trade deficit with China, which previous year stood at more than $300 billion.
Like the president, Lighthizer has criticized multilateral venues such as the World Trade Organization for failing to provide adequate tools to address China’s economic violations. That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China’s dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medical products and robotics.