Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

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 USA companies' intellectual property, which broadly includes technological innovations, film and other artistic products, industrial designs and military secrets.

It was not clear how much detail Trump would provide in his announcement, Politico said, but added that administration officials expected US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open a probe.

It's unclear whether any actual repercussions for China, like sanctions or tariffs, would come from an investigation like this, and officials said there is no timeline for how long an investigation would take.

The administration official who confirmed that Trump would sign the order contended it was unrelated to the showdown with North Korea.

On Tuesday, Trump said any additional threats from North Korea would be met with "fire and fury".

The President of the United States Donald trump and his Chinese counterpart, XI Jinping, called on North Korea to stop provocations. They said that USA companies had long suffered because of Chinese intellectual property violations, and that they expected Congress and the business community to support the measure.

As a prime example of what the officials called China's "unfair trade practices", they objected that the country requires American businesses that want to operate there to form joint ventures with state-run companies and share intellectual property with them.

"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said.

"We would like to emphasize that the Chinese government has always attached importance to intellectual property protection", a spokesman said.

At the end of March, Trump asked the Commerce Department to prepare a report on the causes of the trade deficit, country by country and product by product, in 90 days. Trump made addressing the US trade deficit with China a centerpiece of his campaign a year ago and has suggested raising tariffs on goods from China.

The U.S. business community, which traditionally lobbied U.S. administrations to take a softer approach toward Beijing to protect access to a profitable market, has shifted toward a tougher stance on China in response. "And I think China will do a lot more". "I've heard folks say, 'It's not going well, but a trade war would not be the best thing for us, dialogue is the better path.' And there are others who say, 'Bring it on, '" he said.

  • Jon Douglas