Trump to launch investigation into China trade violations

Trump to launch investigation into China trade violations

There is no deadline for deciding if any investigation is necessary.

The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of US companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the USA government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea. They were not authorized to publicly discuss the private call and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump planned to launch the trade investigation more than a week ago, but he delayed the move in favor of securing China's support for expanded United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the senior administration official said. Many U.S. businesses must create joint ventures with Chinese companies and turn over valuable technology assets, a practice that Washington says stifles U.S. economic growth.

Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the Trade Act of 1974 earlier this month, but action had been postponed as the White House pressed for China's cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear program. If an investigation begins, the USA government could seek remedies either through the World Trade Organization or outside of it.

Trump is to make a day trip to Washington tomorrow, briefly interrupting his 17-day working vacation, a White House official said on Friday. It was not immediately clear whether he was talking about trade was the subject.

President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.

"I think China can do a lot more", Trump told reporters Thursday. "If China helps us, I feel a lot different towards trade".

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Several administration officials outlined the highly preliminary trade action to reporters Saturday, suggesting - contrary to Trump's own statements - that trade policy toward China is divorced from any national security concern, including North Korea. Xi, in his phone conversation with Trump, urged calm.

Trump, in the past, has tied trade policy to national security.

On Tuesday, Trump said any additional threats from North Korea would be met with "fire and fury".

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 addition to the USA, the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China's behaviour on IP theft.

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.

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