Trump to take executive action into China's trade practices

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 13, 2017

Bedminster, N.J.: Even as he seeks Beijing's help on North Korea, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order asking his trade office to consider investigating China for the alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property, an administration official said Saturday.

In a background briefing with reporters on Saturday, White House officials pointed to frustration from USA businesses that they have to share intellectual property with China as a condition for doing business in the country.

The move, which could eventually lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, comes at a time when Trump has asked China to do more to crack down on North Korea's nuclear missile program as he threatens possible military action against Pyongyang.

"Instead, President Trump has made a unsafe situation even worse by recklessly asserting that the United States is "locked and loaded" to bring "fire and fury" to North Korea".

The comments came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the US military "locked and loaded".

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has stressed the importance of China-US trade ties and urged the US authorities to abide by WTO rules in its trade measures.

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.

Trump to take executive action into China's trade practices

Trump, now on a 17-day working summer vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey, is returning to the White House for a day on Monday to sign this executive order directing the US Trade Representative to probe the matter.

It's impossible, however, to see the move as somehow disconnected from the back-and-forth rhetoric between the US and North Korea over the past week.

The forced sharing of intellectual property with Chinese firms has been a long-standing concern of the United States business community. "They know how I feel", he told reporters on Thursday.

The US is ready along with its allies to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic and military measures to stop the North Korean nuclear menace, President Donald Trump told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Satruday.

Asked Friday if the US was going to war, he said cryptically, "I think you know the answer to that".

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S. American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labour", the official said, adding that the cost of intellectual theft on United States economy is estimated to be as high as United States dollars 600 billion a year.

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