Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trump Gets Tough with China as North Korean Crisis Escalates

President Donald Trump plans to launch a crackdown on China Monday by announcing an investigation into the country’s trade practices and allegations that China violated U.S. intellectual property rights, U.S. officials told multiple outlets Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Trump called his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to warn him that the U.S. will conduct an investigation into China’s trade practices with the U.S., a senior administration official told CNN. Trump plans to order U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch the probe Monday with the goal of identifying unfair trade practices that have places the U.S. at a severe economic and financial disadvantage.

The probe, which will rely upon Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and could result in steep tariffs, will begin as U.S. tensions with North Korea continue to escalate while Trump pressures the Chinese to exert their influence over North Korea and its nuclear missile program.

"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 told CNN.

Trump has been walking along a tenuous tightrope with China ever since...

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