Threat of tariffs 'a powerful negotiating tactic'

The trademarks could allow Ivanka Trump to market a lifetime's worth of products in China

SEBASTIAN SCHEINER AP The trademarks could allow Ivanka Trump to market a lifetime's worth of products in China

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when commenting on the latest statement by the White House on Tuesday saying that the United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on 50 billion USA dollars of goods imported from China which contain industrially significant technology.

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro is contradicting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's assertion that the USA trade war with China is on hold.

The Trump administration plans to shorten the length of validity for some visas issued to Chinese citizens, the State Department said today, as President Donald Trump works to counter alleged theft of USA intellectual property by Beijing.

In what appears to be an effort to ratchet up pressure on China to make greater concessions in ongoing trade negotiations, the Trump administration announced today it was moving forward with tariffs and other trade restrictions associated with USA claims of intellectual property theft by Chinese enterprises.

The White House fact-sheet also said that recent investigations by the US Trade Representative's (USTR) identified four of China's aggressive technology policies that put 44 million American technology jobs at risk, including forced technology transfer; requiring licensing at less than economic value; Chinese state-directed acquisition of sensitive United States technology for strategic purposes; and outright cyber theft.

The change would come as the administration of President Donald Trump attempts to crack down on what it says is theft of United States intellectual property by China. "President Trump has the courage and vision to turn that around".

The new investment restrictions and export controls - to be imposed on "industrially significant technology" - will be announced by June 30.

The move has infuriated China, which on Wednesday lashed out and threatened to fight back if Washington is looking for a trade war, days ahead of a planned visit by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Beijing.

The statement highlighted the country's industrial policies, such as its "Made in China 2025" plan, which the White House said harms companies in the United States and around the world; its average tariff rate, which is almost three times higher than the average USA rate; and that China imposes much higher tariffs on U.S. exports than the United States imposes on China.

"Certainly, we're ready for anything the Chinese state wants to do in response to our legitimate defense of our intellectual property and technology".

Speaking on Fox News on May 20, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed: "We're putting the trade war on hold".

Washington also said it will press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China.

The rollback in the situation takes place just after China rejected US accusations on the alleged theft of technology transfer before the World Trade Organization (WTO), and prior to the third round of bilateral talks, scheduled from June 2-4 in this capital.

A White House official said on Tuesday that the US government plans to shorten the length of visas issued to some Chinese citizens as part of a strategy to prevent intellectual property theft by USA rivals.

"This is really about Congress", said Derek Scissors, a China specialist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The two countries have not yet implemented their tariff increases.

William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said the US threat of tariffs appeared to have been "somewhat effective".

"If Beijing was under the impression that Trump's $50 billion of tariffs were actually on hold, they may find this confusing", Chad Bown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said.

In return, the Commerce Department lifted a seven-year ban on ZTE's purchase of US components that it had just imposed earlier in May.

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