Trump to call for probe of 'unfair' Chinese trade practices

French Socialists Urge Macron to Get Involved in Resolution of N. Korean Crisis

American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labour", the official said, adding that the cost of intellectual theft on USA economy is estimated to be as high as United States dollars 600 billion a year.

Should Lighthizer decide to launch such an investigation, "he will have at his discretion broad powers to use all applicable measures, including, but not limited to, Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which provides a basis for addressing technology transfer practices that may be harming the US economy, exports and American jobs", an administration official said.

Yet the two leaders did not discuss this latest action in a phone conversation Friday night, and officials told reporters on Saturday that addressing intellectual property theft has been on their agenda since the president took office.

Senior administration officials on Saturday outlined the White House's plan to pressure China over policies that "force or coerce" American companies to hand over valuable technology to do business there - but they denied the effort was motivated by the crisis over North Korea. If an investigation begins, the USA government could seek remedies either through the World Trade Organization or outside of it.

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.

The president's trade action will be a long way from any punitive move against China, despite his and his advisors' open talk of Chinese "theft" and "stealing" of US companies' intellectual property, which broadly includes technological innovations, film and other artistic products, industrial designs and military secrets.

"I think China can do a lot more", Trump told reporters Thursday.

Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the Economic Forecasting Center under the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, warned that if the USA eventually imposes trade sanctions against China, "Taiwan should not take pleasure in (China's) misfortune".




They added, "If Americans continue to have their best technologies and intellectual property stolen or forcibly transferred off-shore, the United States will find it hard to maintain its current technology leadership position".

Despite Mr. Trump's promises to be tougher than previous presidents on trade, his administration has proceeded with high levels of caution. "China is widely recognised as the biggest source of the problem", he said.

"Trade is trade; national security is national security", said one official, who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with administration practice.

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

There are "a wide variety of potential responses".

"It wasn't just the Obama administration, the Bush administration, the Clinton administration tended to do that as well", said Bown, adding that previous US administrations have successfully used the WTO to get other countries to change their policies that were breaking the rules.

Trump has not yet signed an order to launch such an investigation, she said, and her agency can not assess its possible impact on Taiwan until Washington discloses detailed information on the products that will be investigated.

"An important question going forward will be whether USA companies and trade associations who have highlighted the problem will actually come forward and assist our government in the investigation", said Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said. "China's forced technology transfer is highly institutionalised", the official said. Dialogue, negotiations and a political settlement are the fundamental ways of solving the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue, Xi said during the call, according to China's CGTN state television network.

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