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Trump Moves To Crack Down On Chinese Intellectual Property Practices

12 August 2017, 10:39 | Taylor George

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A man looks at replicas of a North Korean Scud-B missile and South Korean missiles at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul on Thursday.
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The president plans to sign an executive memorandum Monday afternoon directing his top trade negotiator to determine whether to investigate China for harming intellectual property, innovation and technology, senior administration officials said in a conference call Saturday morning.

President Trump plans to call for an investigation into China's intellectual property practices, according to reports Friday.

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.

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 the investigation finds that China is harming USA companies, the Trump administration could respond by imposing tariffs, negotiating an agreement with China, or other measures, the officials said.

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

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"It's not going to continue like that", Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. "If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so". They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.

"Trade is trade; national security is national security", said one official, who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with administration practice. They said that US companies had long suffered because of Chinese intellectual property violations, and that they expected Congress and the business community to support the measure.

As a prime example of what the officials called China's "unfair trade practices", they objected that the country requires American businesses that want to operate there to form joint ventures with state-run companies and share intellectual property with them.

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.

Next week the United States is scheduled to embark on its first round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. -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. -China trading relationship. But analysts have cautioned that Trump faces a huge challenge in his desire to significantly reduce the US trade deficit with China, which past year stood at more than $300 billion.

Meanwhile, China has continued to maintain barriers that prevent USA companies from accessing its market, while adding new requirements for US companies to share technology with the Chinese state, like a recent cybersecurity law.



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