Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump Administration Planning Trade Action Against China

Trump Administration Planning Trade Action Against China

"China welcomes US states, including Michigan, to ... engance bilateral trade and investment, . and consolidate and expand cooperative consensus to create better development opportunities and jobs for both coutnries' peoples", the Premier told the Michigan Governor, according to a Chinese government statement.

A source familiar with the US discussions said the Trump administration planned to employ Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows Washington to investigate China's trade practices and, within months, raise tariffs on imports from China, or impose other sanctions.

Chinese leadership has repeatedly emphasized that fair and normal trade between the two nations is mutually beneficial, but recent months have seen the USA put increasing pressure on China, justified as a way of pressuring them to "reign-in" the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Beijing, where he encouraged USA states to increase investment and two-way trade.

The U.S. policy shift also may reflect White House frustration that it hasn't received the help it hoped for from China in addressing North Korea's nuclear ambitions. But tensions bubbled up last month at a U.S.

The World Trade Organization provides a forum for such trade disputes, but Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have complained that it takes years to solve trade conflicts in the WTO.

"China welcomes US states, including MI, to. enhance bilateral trade and investment, . and consolidate and expand cooperative consensus to create better development opportunities and jobs for both countries' peoples", Li told Snyder, according to a Chinese government statement. Though he has at times sought a more conciliatory approach, Trump also has lambasted China over such problems and over the massive US trade deficit.

The report comes at a time when the United States is growing increasingly frustrated with increased provocations from North Korea, and with Chinese efforts on sanctions against Pyongyang.

In an opinion piece published Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross accused China, as well as Europe, of subsidizing their exports through such means as "grants, low-priced loans, energy subsidies, special value-added tax refunds" and other means.

"The Trump administration believes in free and fair trade and will use every available tool to counter the protectionism of those who pledge allegiance to free trade while violating its core principles", Ross wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Tuesday.

US and other Western governments and business groups accuse Beijing of blocking access to promising industries by requiring foreign companies to hand over proprietary technologies in exchange for being allowed to operate in China.

Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping seemed to get off to a good start when they met in Florida in April and agreed on a 100 day action plan.

Like this: