Trump to call for China IT trade probe on Monday

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2017

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, USA business lobbyists said last week.

US President Donald Trump will sign a memorandum on Monday that could lead to sanctions against China over its intellectual property practices, administration officials said on Saturday (Aug 12). China has called on South Korea and the suspend large scale military exercises in return for the North halting its programs in order to facilitate talks.

The investigation could take as long as a year, US officials said.

Despite Mr. Trump's promises to be tougher than previous presidents on trade, his administration has proceeded with high levels of caution.

Trump has escalated his harsh criticism of North Korea for days, tweeting Friday that the US had military options "locked and loaded".

It is noted that the leaders of the United States and China have "very close relations", which can lead to "a peaceful resolution of the DPRK". That statement didn't mention the executive action, but said the leaders discussed North Korea policy and Trump's visit to China later this year. This past week, Trump said he could soften his views on trade if China stepped up its assistance, leading to speculation that the investigation could be a negotiating tactic.

Trump will make a day trip to Washington, D.C., on Monday, briefly interrupting his 17-day August working vacation, a White House official said on Friday.

"Most Americans are fully aware that China is stealing our intellectual property", they added.

"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official.

When asked about the delay in the call on Saturday, the officials did not address the question directly.

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

The objective of this memorandum is to ensure American companies and workers are not subject to harmful policies by China in relation to intellectual property and to ensure that America continues to maintain its leadership in technology, an official stated. "This is why the president has chosen to act now and to act boldly", one administration official said. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, called the measure "a critical action, and long overdue".

In addition to the United States, the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China's behavior on intellectual property theft. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said.

The official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that he doesn't believe this will lead to a period of conflict between the US and China, adding, "this is simply business between two countries".

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.

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