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Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

12 August 2017, 10:09 | Darnell Patrick

Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

President Donald Trump on Monday will order his top trade adviser to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practices that force USA firms operating in China to turn over intellectual property, senior administration officials said on Saturday. If so, Lighthizer would have "broad powers" to seek remedial action.

An editorial in the Communist Party tabloid Global Times says "Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time". Trump suggested that if China helped rein in North Korea, which is reliant on Beijing's economic and security aid, he could lighten up on his attacks on Chinese trade practices, which were a mainstay of his election campaign. If approved, the investigation is expected to take as much as a year, officials said.

Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the U.S.

Trump's threat to investigate China's intellectual property 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, U.S. business lobbyists said last week.

Trump will direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine if an investigation is warranted of "any of China's laws, policies, practices or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory, and that may be harming American intellectual property, innovation and technology", the official said. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan group created by Congress in 2000 to monitor trade and security issues between the world's two largest economies.

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Next week the United States is scheduled to embark on its first round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Trump administration was expected to move directly into the investigation, so the memorandum reflects the more measured approach the administration also appears to be taking with steel and aluminum. Meanwhile, 100 days of trade talks with the Chinese carried out in past months resulted in a few trade gains but not the ambitious changes the administration had hoped for.

"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China".

President Trump is planning to ask his staff to consider investigating Chinese trade practices, senior White House officials said Saturday. Though widely used worldwide, the WTO process is viewed unfavorably by the Trump administration. The technology sector has been especially hard-hit in intellectual property disputes. That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China's dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medial products and robotics.

Kennedy of CSIS says business leaders express a range of opinions, depending on how much they discrimination they face in China and how key Chinese profits are to their business.

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S. "I've heard folks say, 'It's not going well, but a trade war would not be the best thing for us, dialogue is the better path.' And there are others who say, 'Bring it on, '" he said.



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