Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

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.

The move could lay the groundwork for Trump to impose tariffs against Chinese imports, which would mark a significant escalation in his efforts to reshape the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.

Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the 1974 Trade Act earlier this month, but action had been postponed as the White House pressed for China's cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear programme.

The official said Trump informed Chinese President Xi Jinping about his executive order during their phone call last night. "The previous three presidents were not able to find an adequate solution [to the North Korea crisis], so he can't be blamed for all this".

Trump will direct US 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", the official said.

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Trump's "reckless" action began Tuesday with his threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang. "President Trump stated that the United States is ready, along with its allies, to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic, and military measures to achieve that goal", said a readout of the phone call.

China's foreign and commerce ministries did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment Sunday.

As the crisis has unfolded, Trump has alternated praising China for its help and chiding it for not doing more.

They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.

Any investigation that may be launched could take as long as a year to conclude, a third official said. "The results are there for all to see".

Stocks down, gold up after North Korea threat
On the week, the Dow Jones lost 0.9 %; the S&P 500 has dropped 1.4 per cent, its biggest weekly decline in more than four months. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 per cent to 5,760.90, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 per cent to 2,357.84.

The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of USA companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the US government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea. "And I think China will do a lot more".

Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States.

"If Americans continue to have their best technology and intellectual property stolen, or forcibly transferred offshore, the United States will find it hard to maintain its current technology-leadership position and to remain one of the world's most innovative economies".

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S. "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet. they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk".

Futures lower as North Korea tensions linger
NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancers 1.73-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favoured decliners. Perrigo surged 17.6 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

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