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Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday

12 August 2017

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

"I don't think we're heading toward a period of greater conflict (with China)", said one White House official.

"Trade is trade, national security is national security", the official stated.

President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China. Trump has suggested he would go easier on China if it were more forceful in getting North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

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Officials at the White House and Lighthizer's office were not immediately available for comment.

"The [U.S. -China] relationship could spiral out of control, particularly if the movement on the trade front is combined with growing tensions over how to respond to North Korea", said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. -China trade ties and of resolving differences "through dialogue and consultation". They said that US 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.

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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.

"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".

The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.

The title of the so-called "301 investigation" that Trump is expected to call for Lighthizer to consider, refers to Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, which authorizes the president to work to remove or retaliate against a practice by a foreign government that is "unjustifiable and burdens or restricts United States commerce".

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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.

Trump Pressures China On Trade; Executive Action Expected Monday