Trump to call for China trade investigation

President Donald Trump dashed claims that he is not on vacation but actually'working hard at his New Jersey property when he was seen today on the golf course today while the conflict with North Korea raged

President Donald Trump dashed claims that he is not on vacation but actually'working hard at his New Jersey property when he was seen today on the golf course today while the conflict with North Korea raged

USA senior administration officials have said Trump will sign an administrative memorandum on Monday ordering the Office of the United States Trade Representative to start a Section 301 investigation into China's trade practices, including alleged intellectual property theft. There is no deadline for deciding if any investigation is necessary.

In a phone call Friday, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for backing the recent United Nations vote to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, and the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

It will become much hard for the Trump administration to defend the use of Section 301 today as the US government "acted as a police force, prosecutor, jury and judge" in the process, according to the trade expert. They were not authorized to publicly discuss the private call, and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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.

Yang explained that the 301 Section of the Trade Act of 1974 was created to investigate "unfair trade" practices, including in areas involving intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents and copyrights. "But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade - a lot differently toward trade".

While Beijing has promised to open more industries to foreign companies, it also has issued new rules on electric vehicle manufacturing, data security, internet censorship, and other fields.

Trump, who has been residing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the past week, plans to return to Washington on Monday to officially announce the trade investigation.

It was not immediately clear whether his trade dispute with Beijing would be the subject.

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An administration official, however, insisted diplomacy over North Korea and the potential trade probe were "totally unrelated", saying the trade action was not a pressure tactic.

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

However, Bown was anxious that the Trump administration "hasn't really yet identified a strategy to engage China on the long-term systemic sort of talks" as they seemed much focused on "getting quick wins". "And I think China will do a lot more".

"President Trump's pattern continues: Tough talk on China, but weaker action than anyone could ever imagine", he said in a statement. Xi, in his phone conversation with Trump, urged calm. "President Trump is committed to protect America's intellectual property and national security", the official said.

"China also funds and facilitates the acquisition of USA firms that possess advanced technologies", U.S. officials said.

While there's no evidence that the Trump administration is willing to engage constructively with the WTO, Bown recommends the United States and China resolving their trade disputes through the Geneva-based global trade body.

Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the Economic Forecasting Center under the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, warned that if the US eventually imposes trade sanctions against China, "Taiwan should not take pleasure in (China's) misfortune". The report has yet to be released. 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. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had hoped to finish the review by June, but parts of it remain in the final stages of interagency review.

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