Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump to order probe into China's intellectual property policy

Trump to order probe into China's intellectual property policy

US President Donald Trump will sign a memorandum Monday that could lead to sanctions against China over its intellectual property practices, administration officials said Saturday, AFP reports.Trump's memorandum will direct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether any Chinese laws, policies or practices discriminate against or harm American innovators and technology companies, the officials said.

When North Korea again raised the stakes this week by claiming that it was ready to launch a nuclear attack on Guam, which is controlled by the U.S., Beijing's silence was notable. "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".

The process Lighthizer will initiate, under Article 302b of the US Commercial Code, could take as long as a year to yield its findings.

President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.

"It's not going to continue like that", Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

On Saturday, administration officials said the new trade measure was "totally unrelated" to events with North Korea.

"Most Americans are fully aware that China is stealing our intellectual property", they added. Therefore, China's crystallizing dominance in global production and trade networks, as well as their further extension into Eurasia through grand projects such as the Belt and Road initiative are seen as real national security challenges for the U.S. Likewise, China's massive military investments in state-of-the-art aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and stealth fighters are interpreted as part of a systematic endeavor to balance and surpass the worldwide influence of the U.S. 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. -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.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, bluntly accused China of "stealing our intellectual property" - long a concern of Western companies seeking a share of the enormous Chinese market.

Next week the United States is scheduled to embark on its first round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Kennedy of CSIS says business leaders express a range of opinions, depending on how much they discrimination they face in China and how key Chinese profits are to their business.

"This is a critical action, and long overdue", said Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S.

The United States has previously complained at the WTO about Chinese trade policies, including its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which seeks to have Chinese-made materials account for 70 percent of manufacturing inputs within the next eight years.

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