Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

AL DRAGO

AL DRAGO

Mr Trump's threat to investigate China's IP and trade practices is valid, but his administration may 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.

Speaking to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Col Wilkerson said that the country needed to get away from the grand rhetoric that President Trump had been using and criticised the President for his words, saying that this was not the way to conduct American foreign policy, and comparing the President's approach to that of North Korea's leader.

"Trade is trade, national security is national security", the official stated. "This is simply business".

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.

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 USA and North Korea.

"I am very disappointed in China", he said on July 29 on Twitter. Trump made addressing the USA trade deficit with China a centerpiece of his campaign past year and has suggested raising tariffs on goods from China.

"We will no longer allow this to continue".

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.

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 USA trade law they are relying on, Sections 301 and 302 of the 1974 trade law, allow them to take a broad range of actions.

"The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of U.S. intellectual property", a U.S. National Security Council official said.

"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official.

The spokesman was responding to a question about North Korea threatening to fire missiles towards Guam and US President Donald Trump's dire warnings against North Korea.

The investigation could take as long as a year, USA officials said.

CNN also reported that Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping about the expected executive action in a phone call on Friday.

Latest News