Trump to launch investigation into China trade violations

Trump to launch investigation into China trade violations

Trade experts and business leaders said the new investigation into intellectual property could be a sign that the trade agenda is shifting into the hands of United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, a respected negotiator who helped implement some of the most protectionist trade policies of recent decades during the Reagan administration.

The statement Friday does not mention any specific actions China would be willing to take, although some Chinese scholars and state media have called on Beijing to take on a shuttle diplomacy role to facilitate talks between the US and North Korea.

An op-ed in state-owned newspaper the Global Times said Friday that China should make it clear it will "stay neutral" if the North launches missiles that threaten American soil, even if the USA retaliates.

Trump has been trying for months to get China to exert more pressure on North Korea, but has recently expressed frustration with the lack of progress.

An official continued on to say that there is more than $600 billion of intellectual property theft against USA companies with China responsible for a huge portion of that. China has called on South Korea and the U.S.to suspend large scale military exercises in return for the North halting its programs in order to facilitate talks.

According to Trump advisors, on Monday, the president plans to sign an executive memorandum, which is a step below an executive order, directing trade officials to investigate China's "acts, policies or practices" that violate worldwide protections for American intellectual property, innovations and technology. "And I think China will do a lot more". They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of worldwide law and would not trigger greater conflict with China. 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.

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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.

The American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labor", one official said.

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.

Like the president, Lighthizer has criticized multilateral venues like the World Trade Organization for failing to provide adequate tools to address China's economic violations.

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.

"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China". "I've heard folks say, 'It's not going well, but a trade war would not be the best thing for us, dialogue is the better path.' And there are others who say, 'Bring it on, '" he said.

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