Trump 'to call for China IP trade probe tomorrow'

White House Trying to Water down Trump’s ‘Fire and Fury’ Warning
Trump 'to call for China IP trade probe tomorrow'
Author

13 August, 2017

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. There is no deadline for deciding if any investigation is necessary. They were not authorized to publicly discuss the private call and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump's threat to investigate China's intellectual property and trade practices is valid, but his administration might not be up to the delicate task of carrying out a new China probe without sparking a damaging trade war, United States business lobbyists said last week. Lighthizer will recommend whether an official investigation into trade practices is warranted.

Trump, who is on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, said Friday that he planned to be in Washington on Monday "for a very important meeting" and "we're going to have a pretty big press conference".

It wasn't immediately clear how China would react to the move. 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. In the meantime, it may help to satisfy President Trump's political promises to get tougher on countries that cheat the United States economically, following a series of setbacks and delays on ambitious trade measures floated by the administration in past months.

"Most Americans feel that China is stealing our intellectual property".

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Trump's call with Xi and his potential plans to open the broad trade investigation come against the backdrop of rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Xi, in his phone conversation with Trump, urged calm.

"President Trump is committed to protect America's intellectual property and national security", the official said. In April, he said he wouldn't label China a currency manipulator, in return for help in dealing with North Korea.

Should an investigation find wrongdoing, Trump could impose tariffs against Chinese imports, which would mark a significant escalation in his efforts to reshape the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.

The forced sharing of intellectual property with Chinese firms has been a long-standing concern of the US business community. -China trading relationship. But analysts have cautioned that Trump faces a huge challenge in his desire to significantly reduce the USA trade deficit with China, which previous year stood at more than $300 billion.

At the end of March, Trump asked the Commerce Department to prepare a report on the causes of the trade deficit, country by country and product by product, in 90 days.


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