China tightens noose on North Korea but warns Trump over trade

Trump to take executive action into China's trade practices

Democrats recently have supported Trump on some trade issues.

President Donald Trump on Monday was poised to ratchet up trade tensions with China, announcing the start of an investigation into Beijing's trade practices on intellectual property at a time when relations are already strained over North Korea. But so far, the USA has not imposed heavier trade measures on Chinese goods.

The first source said authorities began the halt about two weeks ago and the second trader said it was enforced about 20 days ago. "We will defend our workers". While China reportedly denied the allegation that it compromised USA intellectual property, US companies and politicians welcomed the decision.

China is accused of trying to take a short cut by spying, hacking or forcing companies to hand over their intellectual property, such as a patent on a software product.

Using trade as a bargaining chip in dealing with China will backfire on the United States, the English-language China Daily said yesterday. "We will engage in a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of USA industry", a statement said.

Observers said the new sanctions could cost about Dollars 1 billion loss of revenue for China.

The war of words has sparked global concerns, with world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping urging calm on both sides in a phone call with Trump over the weekend.

Some experts say the wording of the memorandum is watered down, reflecting how high a priority North Korea is for the administration. It directs Lighthizer to determine if an investigation is needed.

Trump's "transactional approach to foreign affairs" was unhelpful, it said, while "politicizing trade will only exacerbate the country's economic woes, and poison the overall China-U.S. relationship".

Strongly reacting to this, Trump had said that U.S. will retaliate with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States or its allies.

At the weekend, Trump administration officials previewing the move on condition of anonymity accused China of "stealing" U.S. industrial secrets, long a concern of major foreign corporations seeking a share of the huge Chinese market.

Trump routinely slams China's trade practices, and blames China for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs.

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a popular trade tool in the 1980s that has been rarely used in the past decade, allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect USA industries from "unfair trade practices" of foreign countries. Trump wants to lower the deficit.

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