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Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

Trump White House to look into China's trade practices

President Trump on Monday will direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether to initiate a Section 301 investigation into China's intellectual property practices, according to senior administration officials.

The measure would seek to address what the US business community has described as flagrant trade violations by China, which employs a variety of rules and practices to wall its market off from foreign competition and pressure USA companies to part with valuable product designs and trade secrets - or to steal them outright.

"The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of U.S. intellectual property", a U.S. National Security Council official said.

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

On Tuesday, Trump said any additional threats from North Korea would be met with "fire and fury". An investigation by Lighthizer could possibly lead to tariffs against China and action through the World Trade Organization. They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.

Trump, in the past, has tied trade policy to national security. "The results are there for all to see".

But trade and national security experts widely noted that the trade announcement appeared to have been delayed until after China joined the United States in voting for sanction against North Korea at a United Nations Security Council session on August 5.

And on Friday, Trump tweeted the US military is indeed ready, describing it as "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

Speaking to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Col Wilkerson said that the country needed to get away from the grand rhetoric that President Trump had been using and criticised the President for his words, saying that this was not the way to conduct American foreign policy, and comparing the President's approach to that of North Korea's leader.

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

The trade investigation is expected to be only one part of a multi-pronged push by the Trump administration to counter perceived Chinese trade abuses, which Trump frequently railed against as a candidate. "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet. they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk".

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

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