Monday, 14 August 2017

President Trump set to order China trade investigation

Donald Trump is set to launch an investigation into China's trade practices later, a move which could lead to the US imposing sanctions.

The president will sign a memorandum directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into China's intellectual property practices.

US officials have accused China of stealing intellectual property from American companies.

But the China Daily newspaper said the move could "poison" China-US relations.

Mr Lighthizer will launch a section 301 investigation, which allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect US industries.
Sanctions could follow from the investigation, but there is no guarantee.

In the 1980s, tariffs were levied against Japanese motorcycles, steel and other products, but no sanctions have been imposed by the US since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was launched in 1995.

The President tweeted that he was returning to Washington DC to announce the memorandum.

Donald Trump has long railed against the massive US trade deficit with China.

The total trade relationship was worth $648bn (£500bn) last year, but trade was heavily skewed in China's favour with the US amassing a $310bn deficit.

Some of that deficit, the argument goes, is because Chinese firms are copying US products and ideas and either selling them back to the US at a lower price or squeezing US imports out of the Chinese market.

BBC     News.