Global News

U.S. probe into China trade practices may lead to sanctions

U.S. probe into China trade practices may lead to sanctions

According to an official speaking with Reuters, Trump is encouraging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer to enact an investigation into Chinese trade under the 1974 Trade Act section 301, which allows the President of the U.S.to apply various restrictions against alleged "unfair trade practices" of other countries, or against countries that engage in "discriminatory" actions that "burden" U.S. interests.

Administration officials say a formal announcement could be made within the next several days.

"The Administration is considering invoking a little-used provision of United States trade law to investigate whether China's intellectual-property policies constitute unfair trade practices", The Wall Street Journal said.

The White House has repeatedly accused China of devaluing the yuan, steel dumping, and theft of USA intellectual property.

Beijing has insisted trade between the countries benefits both sides and that China is willing to work with the U.S. to improve their business relationship.

Earlier in the day, a top Democratic Senator urged Trump to block China deals over North Korea.

No delays from boosted security over foiled Sydney terror plot
The spokesman said the company had updated the flight arrival times to follow suit with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's recommendations.

China's foreign ministry said this week the North Korean nuclear issue did not arise because of China and that everyone needed to work together to seek a resolution.

Section 301 was used extensively in the 1980s to combat Japanese imports of motorcycles, steel and other products - an era during which Lighthizer served as deputy US trade representative.

But the statute has been little used since the World Trade Organisation was launched in 1995.

"The Trump administration believes in free and fair trade and will use every available tool to counter the protectionism of those who pledge allegiance to free trade while violating its core principles", Ross wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Beijing, where he encouraged US states to increase investment and two-way trade.

Using such a provision, the daily said, would pave the way for the US to impose sanctions on Chinese exporters or to further restrict the transfer of advanced technology to Chinese firms or to US-China joint ventures.


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