Trump White House to look into China's trade practices
Aug 12 2017 by Desiree Burns
US President Donald Trump is tomorrow to call for his chief trade adviser to investigate China's intellectual property practices, Web site Politico reported, citing an unnamed administration official.
The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of USA companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the US government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea.
When North Korea again raised the stakes this week by claiming that it was ready to launch a nuclear attack on Guam, which is controlled by the U.S., Beijing's silence was notable.
But experts say China, which accounts for around 90% of North Korea's foreign trade, is unwilling to squeeze Kim's regime hard enough to make it give up on its nuclear program because that would risk the chaotic collapse of a state that Beijing wants to keep as a strategic buffer.
The president will issue an executive memorandum that will ask U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to examine whether an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 should be opened.
Despite Mr. Trump's promises to be tougher than previous presidents on trade, his administration has proceeded with high levels of caution.
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However, Guam's security agency has issued a fact sheet with advice on what residents should do in the event of a nuclear attack. But Guam's governor said Thursday he supported Trump's stern warning to North Korea, saying "I want a president that says that".
Trump, who has been residing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the past week, plans to return to Washington on Monday to officially announce the trade investigation. They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.
"If this is the expression of Trumpian economic nationalism, most trade advocates are going to breath a sigh of relief", said Scott Lincicome, an worldwide trade attorney at the law firm White & Case.
He simply will initiate the latest investigation of intellectual property theft in a long line of them running back through past administrations. -China trade ties and of resolving differences "through dialogue and consultation".
Next week the United States is scheduled to embark on its first round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But at a time when the far-right Modi administration is flirting with the US, a judicial coup against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif changed everything and contributed to the American strategy of encirclement.
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 US trade law they are relying on, Sections 301 and 302 of the 1974 trade law, allow them to take a broad range of actions.
Kennedy of CSIS says business leaders express a range of opinions, depending on how much they discrimination they face in China and how key Chinese profits are to their business. -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 past year stood at more than $300 billion.