Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

The investigation, which one U.S. official said could take as long as a year, may prove to be a source of leverage to push China to do more to help contain a rising security threat from North Korea, which counts Beijing as its only powerful ally.

In a background briefing with reporters on Saturday, White House officials pointed to frustration from USA businesses that they have to share intellectual property with China as a condition for doing business in the country.

Trump is expected to return to Washington from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. on Monday to sign the memo.

Trump was reported to direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine if an investigation is warranted of "any of China's laws, policies, practices or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory, and that may be harming American intellectual property, innovation and technology".

WASHINGTON―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.

"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official.

Trump planned to launch the trade investigation more than a week ago, but he delayed the move in favor of securing China's support for expanded United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the senior administration official said. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said.

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Trump has being trying for months to get China to exert more pressure on North Korea, but has recently expressed frustration with the lack of progress.

Despite Trump's previous comments, officials at the briefing repeatedly rebuffed any attempt by reporters to connect the possible investigation to the North Korea situation.

"At present, relevant parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that would escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula", Xi said, according to the statement provided by China's government.

-China trade ties and of resolving differences "through dialogue and consultation". China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs. He said it would be premature to speculate on actions that could eventually be taken against China, and added that the issue could be resolved through "negotiated agreement".

The forced sharing of intellectual property with Chinese firms has been a long-standing concern of the U.S. business community.

Trump has requested similar inquiries on trade, but the reports haven't been delivered on deadline. 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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