Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

U.S. To Continue Trade Actions Against China: White House

U.S. To Continue Trade Actions Against China: White House

Washington will also press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, the statement from the White House said.

Those restrictions will be announced by June 30 and adopted soon after that, the administration said, adding that the United States would also continue to pursue a trade case it has filed against China at the World Trade Organization involving intellectual property rights.

On May 20, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the United States and China had both put tariffs on hold and agreed to a framework for a trade deal. "The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter", the statement said.

China responded the next day with a $50 billion list of its own, which heavily targeted agricultural and chemical products and which Beijing has vowed to impose as soon as the US moves forward with its tariffs. In retaliation, China announced plans to impose new tariffs of 25 per cent worth United States dollars 50 billion on 106 American products including items like soybeans which could hurt American farmers.

The China Daily newspaper said the repeated USA claim that Beijing had forced foreign firms to transfer their technologies to Chinese businesses was without evidence and was being used as an excuse to facilitate its trade protectionism.

The decision comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to be in China early next month for talks to reduce the tensions over trade between the two countries.

In the announcement, the USA government listed a range of grievances against Chinese trade practices, ranging from product dumping to industrial subsidies to forced technology transfer.

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A White House official, who asked for anonymity to discuss administration policy, said the measures were part of a US national security strategy to prevent American intellectual property from being obtained by foreign competitors.

Chinese citizens seeking visas who work as researchers or managers for specific companies flagged by the U.S. Commerce Department will need special clearance from a number of U.S. agencies, according to the AP.

Trump ordered the tariffs in March in response to what he called "tremendous intellectual property theft" by China, identified in a Section 301 trade investigation launched last summer.

In a brief statement, the White House said the president plans to take "multiple steps" to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from certain "discriminatory and burdensome trade practices by China".

"We are surprised by the strategic statement released by the White House, but, at the same time, it is somewhat expected", the statement said.

In addition to Ivanka Trump's acquisition of key trademark deals with the Chinese government, the president's announcement about reviving ZTE came on the heels of Chinese investment in Trump properties in Indonesia, as CNBC reported. Trump has said that ZTE is part of the larger trade talks.

The possibility of inflamed trade tensions, coming just over a week after a trade war with China seemed unlikely, helped contribute to a tumble in USA markets.

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