Global News

Trump set to take on China by launching fair trade probe

Trump set to take on China by launching fair trade probe

The trade investigation could strain relations between the USA and China as the two countries wrestle with the unpredictable situation over North Korea.

The results of three separate investigations into trade deficits and the national security threats posed by imports of steel and aluminum, initially expected by the end of June, have yet to appear.

President Trump is planning to ask his staff to consider investigating Chinese trade practices, senior White House officials said Saturday.

"China's been engaged in the theft and forced transfer of USA technologies and intellectual property for years".

President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.

US President Donald Trump will sign a memorandum Monday that could lead to sanctions against China over its intellectual property practices, administration officials said Saturday, AFP reports.Trump's memorandum will direct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether any Chinese laws, policies or practices discriminate against or harm American innovators and technology companies, the officials said.

And then on Thursday, when speaking with reporters, Trump said in relation to North Korea, "if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade".

Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the 1974 Trade Act 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.

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

Wall St closed lower, Dow snaps winning streak: ASX to open flat
Heightened geopolitical tension remained a drag on global equity markets, with havens assets from the yen to gold in demand. The Swiss franc eased about 0.2 percent to 0.9658 per dollar, having surged roughly 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

He says: "The Chinese side hopes all related parties will exercise caution in their words and actions and make greater efforts to alleviate the tense situation and enhance mutual trust, while not traveling the old path of making displays of strength and constantly exacerbating the situation".

"President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour", the White House said in a statement.

He simply will initiate the latest investigation of intellectual property theft in a long line of them running back through past administrations.

In addition to the United States, the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about Chinese theft of intellectual property.

Next week the United States is scheduled to embark on its first round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The technology sector has been especially hard hit in IP disputes.

The process can bypass World Trade Organization procedures for adjudicating grievances.

The people in at least one other country at the center of the tensions - South Korea - are definitely not feeling reassured by these statements. "And I think China will do a lot more".

The United States has previously complained at the WTO about Chinese trade policies, including its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which seeks to have Chinese-made materials account for 70 percent of manufacturing inputs within the next eight years.


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